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Part 3 Key Skills Tip #31

Become a Storyteller

Tip 31: Become a Storyteller

You're never going to kill storytelling, because it's built into the human plan. We come with it.
- Margaret Atwood

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.
- Hannah Arendt

Storytelling is ultimately a creative act of pattern recognition. Through characters, plot and setting, a writer creates places where previously invisible truths become visible. Or the storyteller posits a series of dots that the reader can connect.
- Douglas Coupland

They say that people buy on emotion and justify with logic. Most of the time we are speaking to the emotional brains of our patients. Our job is to reach them at an emotional level, and nothing does that better than stories. Storytelling puts your dentistry in proper context. It explains the reasons why dentistry is important to people's lives.

Dentistry, as you well know, is not important to everyone. To some people dentistry is not on their radar until something bad happens, and even then it's not always guaranteed that meaning will be acquired. Stories can help the dentist to describe all of the implications of keeping one's teeth and all of the benefits that go along with a healthy dentition.

Story makes the intangible, tangible. By putting a human face on your dentistry you are communicating at the most human level.

We live in a world of stories. Take the time to study the structure of a good story. Use the photographs that I wrote about in the last tip and create your own stories to help explain your cases rather than referring to a scientific explanation of dentistry.

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