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The Story Factor: Secrets Of Influence From The Art Of Storytelling Hardcover – Dec 27 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (Dec 27 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738203696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738203690
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,459,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Karl on June 30 2004
Format: Paperback
Having seen the previous reviews, I came to this book with high hopes. They were never realised. Obviously the author has hit the nail squarely on the head for some readers, but I'll be hornswoggled if I can tell why.
When I got to the end of the book I was still waiting for something, anything, that would turn my dissatisfaction into a feeling that it had all been worthwhile. But my hopes simply weren't met.
OK. Do you see a pattern in those first two paragraphs? Lots of promise but no delivery, nothing to get your teeth into. That is how this book was *for me*.
The book starts well.
Chapter 1: The Six Stories You Need to Know How to Tell. Great stuff - for the first 26 pages, But somehow that seems to be the nearest we come to anything concrete regarding the art of storytelling. It is followed by over 200 pages of text, but those 200+ pages concentrate almost entirely on "what" you should do, with far too little on "how" to do it.
Things weren't helped by the story at the start of Chapter 6: Sound Bite or Epic. I was already halfway through the book, and still wondering when we were going to get to the meat and potatoes, and the "Somali tale from Ethiopia" about a woman going to a shaman who tells her to get hold of a tiger's whisker, really pulled the plug.
Firstly Somalia (where Somali's come from) and Ethiopia are two separate countries, next-door neighbours, who spend much of the time at each other's throats. Secondly don't Africans have witch doctors, etc. rather than shamans? and thirdly, there are no tigers in Africa, only lions (tigers are found on the Indian subcontinent).
Now you might think this is nit picking, especially since the story itself does illustrate a valid point.
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Format: Hardcover
We all have heroes. Garrison Keillor, creator of the Prairie Home Companion, is one of mine. Why? He is the best storyteller on the planet. Until recently, I hadn't made the connection between what Garrison Keillor does so well and the business world we all inhabit. The Story Factor pulls it all together.
Annette Simmons is a consultant with roots in major corporations. In 1992, she attended a bucolic southern storytelling event that reshaped her thinking about making an impact within a business context. She believes that facts may be important, but they don't make the difference. As she puts it, "People don't want more information. They are up to their eyeballs in information. They want faith-faith in you, your goals, your success, in the story you tell. It is faith that moves mountains, not fact."
A meaningful story will sustain belief beyond the presence of the individual who first inspired faith. As Simmons sees it, this enables listeners "to reach the same conclusions you have reached and decide for themselves to believe what you say and do what you want them to do."
Whenever we hope to influence others, it is the power of our individual story-who we are and what we're all about-that will ultimately make the difference. It's one thing to be articulate. It's another to be credible. That's where The Story Factor comes in. If you'd like to make a lasting impact in your workaday world, think about telling stories. Think about buying Annette's book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Doug Lipman on July 15 2004
Format: Paperback
This book does what any book about applied storytelling should do: it describes how to apply storytelling without compromising storytelling's artistic heart.
Annette offers the book as a way to achieve "inspiration, influence and persuasion." By the end of the book, the reader learns that the "secret" of influence is, in fact, what has drawn so many fans to the art of storytelling: stories persuade because they lead us to the common ground of mutual respect - not by giving one party a secret weapon with which to manipulate the other. In Annette's words:
"Story doesn't grab power. Story creates power.... As a storyteller you borrow a story's power to connect people to what is important and to help them make sense of their world." (Page 29).
"The Story Factor" is my favorite "storytelling in business" book. To be sure, I had the pleasure of writing the forward to it. I did so in part because Annette has been my student in storytelling as well as my mentor in my own work with businesses. But I would never write a forward to any book in which I did not believe as deeply as I believe in my own books. I receive no payment from sales of "The Story Factor."
Here are some particular things I liked about "The Story Factor":
1. The description of the "Six Stories You Need to Know How to Tell" is worth the price of the book. People want the answers to certain questions before they'll give you a chance to persuade them of anything. These six stories achieve some of your essential interpersonal goals right away, and lay the groundwork for you to achieve the others.
2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Karstens on Aug. 12 2002
Format: Hardcover
From the moment I started reading The Story Factor I was satisfied. Finally a book that explains why stories are such effective communication tools. As a trainer and communication consultant I was looking for the deep structure behind storytelling. It's all here: how stories move and motivate people, the six kinds of stories you need to tell, the psychology of influence and how a good story trumps the facts. The author includes her own stories and draws upon those from other cultures as well. Nearly every page is complete with examples and anecdotes you can take into the classroom or boardroom.
It's a practical book. For example, chapter seven deals with convincing the "unwilling, unconcerned or unmotivated." While there are no surefire remedies for every situation, Ms. Simmons provides a common-sense overview of resistance and some skillful ways to work with it. Even if you're not telling stories regularly the psychology lesson is valuable. True, this is not a paint-by-numbers book because good story telling is too subtle for simple how-to formulae. You learn the art of storytelling by telling lots of stories.
The Story Factor provides solid structural principles and the tips and ideas to stimulate creativity. Start telling stories and use the book as a guide. The style is fast and readable with catchy phrases and subheads. My copy is thoroughly underlined and annotated so I'll never be able to resell it! If you're interested in how to craft stories that sell, motivate, inspire and persuade you'll be glad you bought this book.
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