fMRI studies confirm stories work best when the audience is given a strong character with which to identify. From NeuroScienceNews.com:

New research published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, suggests that no matter how a narrative is expressed—through words, gestures or drawings—our brains relate best to the characters, focusing on the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist of each story.

“We tell stories in conversation each and every day,” explains Steven Brown, lead author of the study, who runs the NeuroArts Lab at McMaster and is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience ang Behaviour. “Very much like literary stories, we engage with the characters and are wired to make stories people-oriented.”

https://neurosciencenews.com/character-storytelling-9857/

The application for professional storytellers? Whatever story you’re telling (and whatever the method of storytelling you’re employing), you increase the odds of audience engagement by providing a relatable character.

Photo credit: Gabriel Porras on Unsplash

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Mark McElroy: lives in Atlanta | is blogging again | is author of a dozen books | works as a professional storyteller | has a husband | is working on a novel | is an engaging public speaker | lost fifty pounds in 2017 | is a little obsessed with pizza.

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