In 1944, two psychologists made a brief animated movie. Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel’s movie was part of a study entitled “An Experimental Study of Apparent Behavior,” and consisted of two triangles, a dot, and a box:
These inanimate objects moved around the screen and “interacted” with each other. When test subjects were asked to describe the actions of the triangles, dot, and box they explained what they saw in terms of a story.
“Oh, that one is a bully!”
“They’re fighting over the girl.”
“Oh no! The dot is trapped!”
Please understand, this simple animated black and white movie didn’t have music, didn’t have voices or sound effects—it was simply two triangles, a dot, and a box. Yet the only way to explain what the viewers were watching, each resorted to giving the objects personalities and telling a story!
“Results from a dozen prominent cognitive scientists and developmental psychologists have confirmed that human minds do rely on stories and on story architecture as the primary roadmap for understanding, making sense of, remembering our lives—as well as countless experiences and narratives along the way,” reports Kendall Haven, in his book Story Proof: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story. He continues, “In our enlightened, literate, scientific, rational, advanced world, it is still story structure that lies at the core of human mental functioning.”
Stories are the most efficient and effective structural vehicles to use if you need to motivate, teach and communicate factual, conceptual, and tacit information (that’s stuff that has to do with attitudes, beliefs, values, and expectations).
For example, your product isn’t “just a desk lamp,” look at what Pixar did with their desk lamp!
Tell a story! Problem – Solution. A day in the life of… How it was before your product or service and how much better it is now. Here’s a Problem – Solution examle:
This is a brief animation we did for the National Safety Council for their campaign about “listening to your car”:
The takeaway is this: the next time your organization needs to provide employee orientation or training, or explain how your mousetrap is better than all other mousetraps, start with a story!
And don’t forget to let us help!
At age 19 I was shipped off to a little country in Central America called El Salvador. There I learned about sowing and reaping and picked up a few more skills that have helped me in business. Came home Graduated with a Masters Degree in Business. Got married and started my 2nd business. (my first being a window washing company.)
I would generate leads and customers by cold calling every morning, and I would often go out and knock doors to let people know about my service. It was a great time because I didn’t know any better. Nothing is more powerful than a young, ambitious, naive entrepreneur. I was worth about 6 million, but shortly after that, I was broke. Lost it all at age 28. It was then I realized I had messed up and needed some more education, some better ideas and ultimately a better philosophy.
The next year I spent hours at Barnes and Noble. I read 150 business books, which gave me more skills and a better life philosophy. I launched a couple of other companies, which one did about 4 million in just a couple of months. It was about that time when I came upon a Whiteboard Videos on Youtube.
The rest is history.
Online video marketing became my skill set.
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