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The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling Paperback – 6 Apr 2006


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The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling + The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human + Improving Your Storytelling: Beyond the Basics for All Who Tell Stories in Work or Play (American Storytelling)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 2Rev Ed edition (6 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465078079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465078073
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.9 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Annette Simmons is founder of Group Process Consulting, specializing in helping organizations build more collaborative behaviors for bottom-line results. A popular speaker, community activist, and author of Territorial Games and A Safe Place for Dangerous Truths, she lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bozidar Jovicevic on 17 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
I was really inspired to learn more about power of (organizational) storytelling after reading a few well written articles in Harvard Business Review. However, biggest chunk of this book is spent on explaining benefits of storytelling even though anyone can very quickly understand these.

Books fails to give practical hints on HOW to craft an authentic story, where to start your search, how to create your personal "story bank"...

My biggest disappointment is that the book doesn't contain exciting stories in order to transfer a message?!

I would recommend "Storytelling" by Klaus Fog, really well written and full of advice coming from an experienced storytelling consultant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
Annette Simmons is thoroughly convincing in her assertion that the best way to influence and inspire others is to tell stories. Unfortunately, she is a bit heavy-handed on the "why" of storytelling, which she explains in depth in every chapter, and a shade light regarding "how" to accomplish her lofty goals. Simmons explains that telling people an engaging story is far more persuasive than reciting facts and figures, or showing a PowerPoint presentation. To illustrate her position, Simmons uses good stories and parables as examples. She describes the six categories of stories you can use to connect with and influence people, and she offers suggestions on how to become a prolific, entertaining storyteller. This is not a typical "how-to" book with lists of things to do, but it is instructive and useful. We recommend it to anyone who is interested in the art of persuasion or who loves a good yarn.
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Format: Paperback
At about 6.00 o'clock on Monday morning July. 19, 1987, a ragged, fatigued middle aged man of 42 collapsed near Victoria Station. CCTV footage captured intermittent crowds shuffling past the dying man, no doubt assuming him to be a morning drunk. He lays there alone for a short time, dazed and in agony, doubled up with abdominal pains.

Later that day police release a statement to the public -

"Officers are investigating the identity and circumstances surrounding the death which is assumed to have been alcohol related."

The facts, however, suggest otherwise. When eventually discovered by a policeman, the man's ears, nose and lips were sky-blue frozen. During the hottest spell in England for 75 years, this was no ordinary morning drunk.

Story has an effect on people that is nigh on impossible to put a finger on. When done right, it's simply spellbounding. Story is the compilation of countless ingredients, but separate them, and any trace of story disappears. Author of The Story Factor, Annette Simmons, conveys this point with a great analogy -

"It's like cutting the kitten in half to see why it is cute."

So what are the elusive elements that create a good story? What's the psychology behind storytelling? Is story telling reserved only for those bleeding charisma and with a gift for the gab?

As well as answering these questions, this is a book that sets out to put the facts straight. Facts, however, are boring. Story is the medium of choice here. So open the door to your imagination and leave your pie charts in the conference room.

Annette Simmons evangelizes the art of storytelling, and has almost single handedly pioneered this form of influence throughout the world of business.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Cohen VINE VOICE on 7 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I work as a speechwriter and this book is so uplifting. Simmons shows that we've got too much information, but at the same time an unsatisfied appetite for good stories. She says many wise things and provides many persuasive examples. Every corporate communicator should read this book.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr Luca on 4 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is, in some ways a horrific book. Certainly one of the worst self-help books I've seen published.

It's a mass of disjointed notes on her feelings and thoughts about story telling.

If you consider buying, I suggest you only read Chapters 1,2,3, 8, and 11. Those several thousand words are where she gives unique value. They convincingly explain why story telling is a better way of influence.

Overall I am left feeling cheated. I feel they may have artificially padded the word count just to make more money on the item price.

Vast sections of the book are completely worthless. For example, have you ever paid to read insights like these?

Section Heading: Truly Evil
Main point of section: no one is truly evil.

Section Heading: Hypnosis, Trance and Story
Main point: A good story induces a trance like state. No practical information, just her opinion that a good story induces a trance like state. Honestly.

Section: No Guarantees
Main point of section: There are no guarantees that you'll successfully influence. Well I'll be damned.

<sigh>, it's astounding how many 'non-helpful' sections there are like this. Just a blob of preaching, disconnected to any advice on achieving a goal. It really is a terrible self help book, sorry.

I feel she didn't research or define her reader, their experience level and what they are looking for. She didn't determine a goal for her reader. She didn't try to help her reader reach a particular goal through this book.

If she did this, and I greatly doubt it, it really doesn't show.

The sections Truly Evil/No Guarantees were surely aimed at someone learning to debate at age 12?
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