There is only one thing we all crave as humans: to feel seen, heard, and respected. And where we express our humanness most is in the emotions we experience.
Human connection, our human experience, our actions and thoughts, are so strongly dictated and spoken about in terms of emotion.Not only do we ALL feel, but we are all driven by the same core, human, emotions. So, it begs the question: is a story devoid of emotion even a story at all?
Emotion is what connects us; it’s our human nature; in fact, it’s what makes us human.
Your job, in telling a story, is to know and dig deep into the emotional states of the character and in a way that the audience will relate to. It’s also your job to acknowledge that you, too, have experienced these emotions and so you, too, are human.
Now I know what so many of you are going to think, which is that you can’t/don’t want to be vulnerable. But this really isn’t about your vulnerability, this is about your humanness and your desire to have an impact on the world. In order to do so, you must accept and acknowledge that your audience is human and, therefore, emotional.
When it comes to telling a story, this means being willing to go deep into the emotional states of your character and of your audience throughout the transformation, which requires us to look at the following:
- What emotions are being felt by the character at each moment of transformation – before, during, and after?
- How are these emotions manifesting into actions?
- What is happening for them beneath these surface level feelings and actions? What are the core emotions underneath the whole experience?
Your job, in your story, is not to go directly to these core emotions, but to instead reveal them slowly and gently through your story.
For instance, an entrepreneur who’s struggling to take action in their business is probably feeling quite afraid, maybe confused, about what to do and how to do it. It’s manifesting as “busy work” for this entrepreneur, but they’re avoiding the work that’s actually moving the needle in their business. It probably looks like a lot of content that doesn’t lead anywhere in particular, a lot of pivoting, and a lack of consistency. Beneath the surface they’re feeling like they can’t do this, like they’re not good enough to succeed, and they’re afraid of judgement. And at their very core, whether they know it or not, they might actually just not believe they deserve success. They feel unworthy of it. That unworthiness is driving the feelings of inadequacy and fear, which in turn is coming out in the constant pivoting of their business and the inaction.
You might chose to help that person by telling them through YOUR story of transformation from the busy work, to the moment you realized what you were avoiding, and how that moment was a catalyst for change to a life where you took control of those feelings and built a successful business. Through this story, your hope is to help that entrepreneur uncover that same belief that will help them feel worthy of success.
Your small evolution, your small transformation, is enormous to the reader.
Emotion is what connects us. It creates an unbreakable bond between reader and writer. It acknowledges our shared experiences as humans.
When it comes to using storytelling in your business and marketing, evoking emotions is the secret key to locking yourself into the memory of your audience. Our brain is hardwired to remember emotionally charged moments, and by helping our audience feel we can hack the system and engage the brain in realizing our story is important – and must be remembered.