Telling stories is a part of human history. Storytelling is one of those human elements that transcend culture and geography and time. Whether it be through theater, television, cinema, the written word, or even the oral traditions of the past, the communication of values, morals, and entertainment have been used throughout the ages.
Erik Clausen is a marketing and communications executive with more than two decades of international experience building brands and telling stories. For the past nine years, he’s led cglife, an integrated marketing and communications agency operating at the intersection of life science and healthcare. He’s also the founder of the Life Science Network, a professional networking organization that reaches more than 25,000 professionals.
Erik earned his bachelor’s in Environmental Science and German at California State University Sacramento.
What You’ll Hear On This Episode of When Science Speaks
- [1:40] Why stories are such a compelling way to communicate
- [3:15] What makes a good story?
- [5:48] How scientists can use a narrative, storytelling angle to explaining science
- [7:33] Why empathy is an important aspect of storytelling
- [8:20] Communicating complexity in a relatable way
- [12:07] Preparing scientists as spokespeople
- [14:25] Erik shares a story of successful marketing by the use of storytelling
Connect with Erik Clausen
Storytelling has influence and history
Storytelling is a powerful tool in society. There are so many kinds of stories, more than just fairy tales and fiction novels. Indeed, as Erik Clausen points out on this week’s episode, storytelling is as old as society itself. It is how things got done and how messages were conveyed. The education and influence that the elders of a village or tribe wish to convey to the younger generation could be passed on through the use of a good story.
It remains true to this day. Gaining influence over the community at large, whether you are a scientist, engineer, or politician, the use of stories can carry your message to the general public. Getting feedback and gaining a consensus in the current age of social media can bring about change in the world. That is the power of storytelling.
Composing a good story
What makes a good story? Writers and creators have been puzzling over this question for hundreds of years, if not more. It certainly seems as if some stories resonate more widely than other stories, so what is it that makes that so? What elements have popular writers such as Shakespeare included in their art that other writers have not captured?
In this week’s episode, Erik has some great opinions on this subject. As he points out in the episode, it is all about the journey of a protagonist as they overcome a challenge or problem. There is a tension that is built up in their struggle, which is released upon completion of the task or solution to the problem.
Learn more about Erik Clausen and his work at cglife on this week’s episode of When Science Speaks.
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