Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary. For thousands of years, people have wanted to hear stories, whether from travelling bards in the old days or best-selling paperbacks today. Put simply, a good story helps people interpret the facts and see the bigger picture. Things people would not believe, understand or care about become compelling and meaningful as soon as they are seen through the lens of a simulated personal experience: a story. This makes good storytelling a very powerful tool indeed.
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Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary. For thousands of years, people have wanted to hear stories, whether from travelling bards in the old days or best-selling paperbacks today. Put simply, a good story helps people interpret the facts and see the bigger picture. Things people would not believe, understand or care about become compelling and meaningful as soon as they are seen through the lens of a simulated personal experience: a story.
This makes good storytelling a very powerful tool indeed. Quite simply, a good story is one that simplifies the world and makes us feel we understand it better. The world today often seems complicated and chaotic, but a story has the power to make sense of it. It gives listeners a plot to follow, around which they can organize their thoughts. This not only makes it easier for the listener to understand your argument, but can also help them make sense of their personal problems and frustrations.
For example, if someone has lost their job or gone through a tough break up, a story about someone in a similar situation will help them to recover. In this sense stories — though indirect — are more effective than direct guidance. This is because direct guidance only applies to one situation and then loses relevance, whereas the lessons of a story can be adapted to fit multiple situations. You could, of course, tell him outright to stop doing this, but it would be even more effective to tell him a story about someone who lost their job due to a misunderstanding in a poorly worded email.
Your colleague would probably remember that story every time he was sending an email. He might even start applying the lesson about being polite and professional in his other communications.
So even though stories are an indirect way of relaying a point, they can be much more effective than the direct, raw truth. You have to realize that you have many channels of communication available. You can use your hand gestures to add meaning to your words and really paint a picture for your listeners. Use facial expressions to help people relate to your story. This makes people more likely to believe you. Of course, to fully immerse the listener in your story, what you say is also important.
Here you should prioritize things that the listener can imagine vividly. For example, you could ask your audience to imagine the smell of sizzling bacon. Or if your story involves the wind howling, you could make a similar sound to really make them feel present in the story. This kind of visceral experience creates emotional memories that are particularly powerful. Another way to create emotional memories is to use irrelevant but concrete details. Instead, use concrete details and tell your listeners about the way the house would fill with the scent of freshly baked blueberry pie on Sunday mornings.
If you really want to be able to influence your audience, you have to tell them not one, but six different stories. Third, you have to tell them a story that relates the vision you have — i. Fourth, you also need to tell a story that teaches them. For example, if you have just hired a new receptionist, rather than tell him what buttons to push on the phone, regale him with the story of Mrs.
Jones, the greatest receptionist you ever met, and how she did the job so immaculately. Fifth, tell a values-in-action story. This means telling a story where the value you want to convey is translated into a real, specific action.
It would be much more effective to tell a story about an employee who once made a huge mistake but was rewarded when she came clean instead of trying to cover it up.
For example, think about the potential objections your audience members will make, and then raise and deal with those points as part of a story. This will make the audience feel more at ease. Now that you know you can influence people with stories, you probably want to know why that's the case. First, they help you overcome suspicions: people are often distrustful when someone is trying to influence them, but stories allow you to bypass their suspicion because you can frame the audience on your side: your interests and theirs overlap.
This will make them more likely to trust you. Second, stories are effective instruments for making your audience feel as though you know them. These days people crave real human attention, so if you tell a story that touches them and makes them feel acknowledged, they will be more connected to you and more cooperative. Third, you can take advantage of the fact that people automatically feel more comfortable and relaxed when they hear a story.
The instant you say you're going to tell a little story, your audience will relax and become less analytical. And if you tell a good enough story when they are in this state, it could stick in their heads for so long that eventually they won't be sure if they heard it or if it happened to them.
If this sounds far-fetched, think about some stories from your early childhood. Are you totally sure they happened to you or did you merely hear about them?
Of course, not all audiences are eager to listen to what you have to say. The key is to understand that your listeners have good reasons for their opinions, even if they are not in line with yours. For example, though abortion is a highly polarizing issue, both sides have reasons for their opinions: pro-lifers want to save the life of the unborn child, whereas pro-choicers focus on the life of the mother and the plight of the unwanted baby.
If you want to influence either group, you have to acknowledge these reasons. A second key consideration is that you have to remain positive. If you allow yourself to think that your audience is reluctant or indifferent, that negative emotion will seep into your speech. You want to awaken hope in them, and this can only be done if you yourself are hopeful. This will only make your audience feel ashamed, bitter or angry, and none of these emotions lead to action.
Only hope does. Finally, if you find that the audience is very negative, try telling them an extra story that's designed to work around the source of their negativity. For example, if the audience seems cynical and doubtful of your sincerity, open up and tell them a personal story — this is the closest they can get to first-hand evidence of your sincerity!
Alternatively, if you think your audience resents you for having the spotlight, try to tell a story that highlights the big picture and the goals you share with them. If you truly want to be able to influence someone, you also need to be adept at storylistening. In a dialog you need to genuinely listen to your partner.
Often they change their position to something closer to yours. This will help him to articulate what concerns him, and will also make him reflect on whether some of his criticisms are unfounded. You'll have a focused audience for your own story.
This is a great starting point for you to influence them. Though there are many ways to tell a story well, there are also a few surefire ways to make a mess of it. If you're not a guru you'll have a broader audience, so trust your listeners to think for themselves. Tell them about your fears, hopes and passions.
Everyone knows how boring it can be to listen to a story that either goes nowhere or is far too long. Share some colorful and bizarre details that really entice your audience to follow where you lead them. Negative emotions make people antagonistic and less likely to make lasting changes. Only positive emotions will make people take action or change their mind in the long run. Abraham Lincoln is one shining example of believing in the power of positivity.
This is because a storyteller sees the world differently. Being a storyteller will also have a great impact on the relationships you have with other people, because you now carry a great responsibility: The stories you tell will affect the lives of those around you in the long term.
So if you tell stories that make the people around you see themselves as victims, or start blaming one another, it can change your family, your company or even your community. As an example, consider one of the most influential fearmongering storytellers in history: Adolf Hitler.
His stories provoked such powerful reactions of fear and hatred in the German people that they perpetrated the Holocaust. These days, it seems the most valued thinking skills in the world are rational and critical. They are taught at school, and they help you get jobs. When approaching a problem or situation with purely rational thought, the goal is to remove all ambiguity, anecdotes and emotions from the equation.
Story thinking, on the other hand, actually broadens your horizons and allows you to operate even when there is ambiguity. It encourages you to forget the rules and embrace emotions, which is beneficial when telling stories: you can better interact with your audience by sharing emotions with them. The fact that story thinking is so free and fluid is what makes it more an art form than a science.
Storytelling is a far more powerful way of influencing people than pointing at facts and figures. Stories can help you reach any audience and inspire them to take action. In fact, storytelling is so powerful a tool that once you become a storyteller, you have a great responsibility to tell stories that improve the lives of those around you. Use stories in your next presentation. The next time you have a presentation or speech coming up, why not base it on stories?
Work out the key points you want to make, then try to think of anecdotes that would highlight them for the audience in a clear, relatable way.
Instead tell a story of how the farmer who grows the produce can hug his children straight after coming in from the fields, because there are no dangerous pesticides on his clothes. You will find your presentation packs a far more powerful punch. Why are we so drawn to narratives, when surely we really just need facts to make decisions? So how do you tell a good story? The Story Factor Key Idea 1: Stories help us make sense of the world and are effective tools for persuading others.
In order to know how to tell a good story, we must first know what a good story actually is. The Story Factor Key Idea 2: Telling an immersive story requires more than just words — use your whole body. So how do you tell it properly? The Story Factor Key Idea 4: Stories wield a powerful influence because they relax and disarm your audience.
The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling
Who are you? Where do you come from? When you seek to influence others you face these questions and more. Tell your story well and you will create a shared experience with your listeners that can have profound and lasting results. In this hyper-competitive, techno-centric, and results-oriented environment it is easy to forget that all organizations are social systems and that work is personal—learning to tap into the personal element through story gives you a key to the social system. Alignment improves, problems get solved, group decisions are easier to make, and trust develops in ways and in places you might never thought possible. These stories, combined with practical storytelling techniques show anyone how to become a more effective communicator.
The Story Factor Summary and Review
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Anyone seeking to influence others must first know their own story, and how to tell it properly. Whether you're proposing a risky new venture, trying to close a deal, or leading a charge against injustice, you have a story to tell. Tell it well and you will create a shared experience with your listeners that can have profound results. In this modern classic, Annette Simmons reminds us that the oldest tool of influence is also the most powerful. Fully revised and updated to account for new technology and social media, along with two new chapters on the role of stories in the development of civilization and how to adjust your story to your specific goal, Simmons showcases over a hundred examples of effective storytelling drawn from the front lines of business and government, as well as myths, fables, and parables from around the world.
The Story Factor
Annette Simmons. This modern classic teaches you to use the art of storytelling to persuade, motivate, and inspire in life and business Anyone seeking to influence others must first know their own story, and how to tell it properly. Whether you're proposing a risky new venture, trying to close a deal, or leading a charge against injustice, you have a story to tell. Tell it well and you will create a shared experience with your listeners that can have profound results. In this modern classic, Annette Simmons reminds us that the oldest tool of influence is also the most powerful. Showcasing over a hundred examples of effective storytelling drawn from the front lines of business and government, as well as myths, fables, and parables form around the world, Simmons illustrates how story can be used to persuade, motivate, and inspire in ways that cold facts, bullets points, and directives can't. These stories, combined with practical storytelling techniques, show anyone how to become a more effective communicator and achieve their goals.