Once Upon a Time… What’s Your Story

The Power of StorytellingI heard recently that a TV commercial in Australia airing during the Sate of Origin between NSW and Queensland can cost upwards of $55,000 for a 30 second clip!  This is not in the same league (no pun intended) of the American Super Bowl where a 60-second spot can cost as much as $4 million (USD).

Why are advertisers willing to fork out this money given the multiple opportunities for the TV audience to skip through the ads during program breaks?  That’s because commercial ads are an opportunity to tell stories.

Great ads don’t just share information that persuade but tell stories that capture the heart and mind inspiring us to act.  As social creatures we are wired to relate to other people and are attracted to stories.

Storytelling affects the brain

Different parts of the brain are activated during storytelling and it produces different hormones at different times in a story.  For instance, the stress hormone cortisol is released during tense moments which allows us to focus, while the ‘cute’ factor of animals releases oxytocin which is the feel-good chemical that promotes a sense of togetherness.  Happy endings on the other hand trigger the release of dopamine which creates motivation and makes us feel more hopeful and optimistic.

Communicating through story telling has been going on for thousands of years, since the flat screen TV was the cave wall.  Advertisers know that stories work at an unconscious level and they have been using stories for years seeking to induce and change our behaviour.  The good news is that we can all tap into the power of storytelling to express the best of who we are.

How do you tell your story?

Storytelling is a powerful way to plant ideas in the world.  As an emerging leader or small business owner, the way you delegate, make decisions, build relationships, give feedback and bring people to work together really matters as this is the story you are telling which becomes your personal brand.  The key is to do it consciously and consistently in the things you say, the way you say them and what you do when you express yourself.

Parting Thoughts

Whether in business, in sport, at home or in the community, effective people are clear and are on purpose about the story they want to share.  They understand the power of storytelling and wrap their personal vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.  They engage others to tell their story and inspires action.

If you are curious to get clear and get focused using your inner resources to overcome challenges and express the best of who you are email francois@advancecoachingandtraining.com.au


  1. Claire Hones on June 23, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Francois, I couldn't agree more with what you have written. Working with websites and digital medium this is something we often talk about with our customers – about getting clear on their message, who their audience is and then presenting it to them in a way that connects and engages with that audience – whether that be written, verbal, video, audio or a mix of all 3.
    The art is uncovering your story and being confident to share your skills/ expertise and brand with others. So that you can be visible and connect with even more people.
    I guess that is where your skills come in; with helping break down the barriers and self limiting blocks.

    • Francois on June 26, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Thank you for your contribution Claire. We all have a story and the clearer we are with the story we want to tell the more empowered we become to express the best of who we are.

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