Why Video Storytelling is the Most Important Communication Skill to Master in 2020

It’s been argued that video storytelling is the most powerful tool in the art of persuasion.

And that by 2021 it’s set to become the most important method of business communication with video ultimately replacing email and texting.

If that’s true then it will no longer be, ‘a nice to have’ skill. It will be an essential tool in the art of communication and if you want to captivate, engage and influence your audience, be it your customers, your people, your executive team or your board then you need to master it.

So, is it just a passing fad or is there a real reason for why video storytelling is on such a powerful trajectory?

From the dawn of time humans have told stories, to not only keep each other entertained by the fireside but to unite the way that they think, feel and act.

Stories have bonded communities, educated people on the right values to live by and taught them how to survive.

Our brains are hardwired to not only pay attention to story but to retain the information within one.

But how?

Stories make us focus on what we’re being told.

Stories are structured, so that they grab our attention with a hook that speaks to us personally.

This hook often strikes at our inner most fears and anxieties.

Little Red Riding Hood ignored her mother’s warning and struck up a conversation with the wolf in the forest. Frodo in, 'The Lord of the Rings' is given a powerful treasure, the ring, to take on a long journey through dangerous lands. If he fails, their entire world will collapse and everything he holds dear will be destroyed forever.

We’re drawn into these stories because we’re first introduced to a main character that we like and then we’re shown the problem or challenges that they face. The moment we recognise the enormity of the challenge that they’re up against we’re hooked. People are fascinated by how other people will overcome adversity and so this powerful combination grabs our attention and forces us to focus on what we’re about to be told.

Stories make us feel empathy.

Once we connect with the main character in a story, it’s a bit like falling in love, whether you like it or not, if the story connects with you then you’re now invested in the outcome. You’re behind them every step of the way. That means that when they’re happy you’re happy. When they’re scared your scared. You don’t just sympathise with them. It’s real. You feel it. Stories trigger the release of dopamine, oxytocin, cortisol and serotonin, making you fully empathise with the person you’re following.

Whether you like it or not – in a good story you’re in for the ride and you can't get off. They sweep you up on a journey of emotion through tears and laughter, sadness and joy, ultimately influencing the way you think, feel and act.

Stories make us act.

We’re not just passive listeners when we hear a story. We’re actively involved. Who has jumped when they got a fright watching a horror movie? Whose foot has twitched when they’re watching a sports game?

That’s not random. Stories activate neuro-coupling and mirroring. When you watch or listen to a good story you experience similar brain activity to the main character - meaning that you experience the story as your own, it actually motivates you to act.

Which means that a well-told story not only grabs our attention and takes us on a journey it actually influences the way we act. Which after all is what all good communication is about. We communicate with others in order to get them to see things our way and act on what we think. Which puts storytelling at the heart of all great communication.

But that’s not all. We’re visual creatures and it’s not just story that we pay attention to.

Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. (Insivia)

Which makes VIDEO storytelling the most powerful tool in the art of communication.

So, if you want to stand out from the crowd, make sure that your message is heard and inspire others to act on what you say then you need to get ahead of the curve and master how to create your own video stories because video storytelling is the most important communication skill to master in 2020.