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The Story Factor: Secrets Of Influence From The Art Of Storytelling [Hardcover]

Annette Simmons
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 27 2000
Storytelling is the oldest tool of influence, an essential ingredient to the development of culture and organizational life. In this groundbreaking book, maverick consultant, writer, and storyteller Annette Simmons applies the lessons of storytelling to management and leadership. Showcasing stories from the front lines in business, as well as parables, myths, and fables from around the world, Simmons shows how anyone-managers, entrepreneurs, sales and marketing professionals, even social activists-can enhance their communication success by applying the principles of storytelling. From launching new business models to making more effective presentations to getting buy-in for new proposals and initiatives, The Story Factor offers practical guidelines for mastering the art of persuasion and developing more productive relationships with colleagues, employees, bosses, investors, and customers.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Nearly everyone responds to a good yarn, and that's precisely the point behind The Story Factor by Annette Simmons. A "collaborative behaviour" consultant to public and private organisations, Simmons argues that storytelling may just be the best management tool available to modern business leaders because it exerts influence in ways that other techniques cannot. And she doesn't suggest that stories be exclusively reserved for formal presentations, either; on the contrary, Simmons shows how they can be used effectively in small group settings and even one-on-one situations. She begins by describing six basic types that can be adapted to any circumstance (Who I Am, Why I Am Here, The Vision, Teaching, Values-In-Action, and I Know What You Are Thinking). She then offers pointers for finding them, and advises that ideas be jotted down whenever they appear, built upon consistently, and practised in private until the telling comes naturally. To that end she includes helpful tips on presentation, noting that the words are only part of a package that includes body language, clothing, tone and other components. Follow her lead, and you'll likely never relate to any individual or group in the same way again. --Howard Rothman

From Library Journal

In this highly readable book, business communications consultant and author Simmons (Territorial Games) pitches storytelling as the modus operandi for business success. Identifying six stories one must learn how to tell "Who Am I," "Why I Am Here," "The Vision," "Teaching," "Values in Action," and "I Know What You Are Thinking" Simmons illustrates how they can be applied under any circumstance. A successor to Dale Carnegie's classic How To Win Friends and Influence People, this work follows the format of a traditional textbook, mirroring a PowerPoint presentation with minimal text and maximum graphics, bullet-pointing, etc. Potentially useful as a communications text, this is a viable selection for public libraries looking to strengthen their business communications collection. Robert Moore, Itworld.com, Southboro, MA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Karl
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Storytelling Explained Aug. 12 2002
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Book for Leaders and Writers
Having loved stories as a youngster (especially the Greek myths as related by my mother), I lost sight of the power of stories until I became a management consultant. Read more
Published on July 15 2006 by Donald Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling eye-openers - how to reach people
I highly recommend Annette Simmons The Story Factor for a new and different look at the way we communicate. Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by Mary E Foltz
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best
Since I consider Power Point presentations a notch below prehistoric cave painting as an effective form of communication, I have sought out and read the best books that I could... Read more
Published on July 12 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars It does not deliver what it promisses
I bought this book during a recent business trip to the US, hoping that it would "teach" a few tips on how to build your own personal stories, facts and so on. Read more
Published on July 12 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A Business Must
I had been interviewing with several other companies for about 5 months, called back for second rounds, but still not hired. Read more
Published on July 11 2004 by "richmandan3"
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning a Critical Leadership Skill
I am responsible for leadership development in the largest healthcare system in the country--the Veterans Healthcare Administration. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Kathryn Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and compassionate
I loved the the sassy insights, the short stories and the literary references that make this book a good read! And I found its analysis useful too. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Meena S. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Get more of what you want
Annette Simmons has done it again. Her book about storytelling beautifully illustrates what she is trying to teach us: that we are more powerful through story telling. Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by Mary LoVerde
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story Factor by Annette Simmons
This book is admazing. The story factor is an "old" yet very new tool on how to shape culture I give lectures all over the nation on story telling and I would not think... Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by Dr. Carolyn Smeltzer
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Manager should read this book
This book was right for me - I found it inspirational. Annette has a very easy, readable style and I appreciated the way it is written as a story. Read more
Published on July 6 2004
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