What is this?
Story Telling is the use of real or fictitious characters who experience a change in circumstance and are therefore changed as a result - with some moral or learnable point to the story.
Why is this important?
When persuading others there is often resistance to what we are saying. The Guarded Mind page on this site can help you understand how and why this happens, but one form of "assertion" or "telling" that is often allowed through is information conveyed by story telling. I have never heard a scientific explanation for why the mind opens up to hear stories and usually engages actively in listening to them. It is certainly possible that if the other person is excessively mentally pre-occupied with blocking out any attempts to communicate, they will also block out any story that is presented.
In most cases stories will be heard and given attention and thought by the listener and it is here that we can use stories as an effective tool to help someone learn something new. Stories can include similarity, surprise, familiarity, contrast or any number of ways to influence the thinking of the listener. Stories that do not draw attention to objectionable ideas, beliefs, or values will generally be successful in keeping the listener's attention. Stories provide excellent opportunity for us to plant ideas in the minds of others that can be nurtured later.