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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Communicate with Power and Impact
I am among those who have praised Annette Simons' previously published The Story Factor and are thus delighted that she has written this book in which she develops in much greater depth many of the same core concepts of the earlier work, one in which she rigorously examines the basic components of effective storytelling when explaining what a story is and what it can do...
Published on 23 May 2007 by Robert Morris

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars confusing, unclear, useless
I was very disappointed in this book. Having bought it for the specific reason
of learning something about using storytelling in a sales/persuasion context I was
I quickly found that there was very little to learn or gain from it.

The book launches itself as a guide for professionals wanting to use stories in a
business or organization context,...
Published on 5 Dec. 2011 by LarsDK


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Communicate with Power and Impact, 23 May 2007
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Find, Develop, and Deliver Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact (Hardcover)
I am among those who have praised Annette Simons' previously published The Story Factor and are thus delighted that she has written this book in which she develops in much greater depth many of the same core concepts of the earlier work, one in which she rigorously examines the basic components of effective storytelling when explaining what a story is and what it can do that facts alone cannot. She suggests how to tell "a good story," in process explaining the psychology of an effective story's influence. She offers excellent advice on how to influence the unwilling, the unconcerned, and the unmotivated. Simmons also devotes an entire chapter to "Storylistening as a Tool of Influence," then in the next chapter identifies a number of storyteller Dos and Don'ts. Simmons concludes her book with insights that have their greatest value only if considered within the context created for each in previous chapters.

In this volume, she explains "how to use your own stories to communicate with power impact" and I commend her on the informal, almost conversational tone she establishes and then sustains throughout her narrative. Her focus is on what each of her readers can contribute to all manner of communications with others. Hence the effectiveness of her direct, one-on-one rapport with those for whom she wrote this lively and entertaining as well as informative book.

Appropriately, she shares a number of "stories" from her own life and career when illustrating various key points. For example, in Chapter10, she recalls a situation in which she was meeting with a group of international women in Europe only 10% of whom were from the U.S. When explaining how to be a more effective leader, she used a "I know what you are thinking story" to illustrate her key points. She recalled her need to "feel special" (i.e. to be admired, respected, and especially to be accepted) in school, college, and then as she began her career. Only later when she studied group process did she realize that "groups have patterns, and if you can predict the patterns of the group you can be in the right place at the right time. That sort of knowledge is power. I also learned about how ruthless groups can be to members who are innovative (deviant) or perceived as weak." This is but one of several examples - drawn from Simmons' own life and career - that illustrate how a personal story well-told can establish and then sustain a rapport, especially with those in an audience who may otherwise consider your point of view as dangerous, foolish, or simply not worth it. "Demonstrate how deeply you understand their objections by telling a story that validates them."

In Part Two, Simmons explains how to find and then formulate stories. She includes a series of exercises for her reader to complete...and do so within the spaces provided in the book. She introduces each exercise with brief comments and suggestions before the reader records her or his own thoughts, feelings, and experience when formulating various kinds of stories such as those that explain "Who-I-Am"(Chapter 5) and "Why-I-Am-Here" (Chapter 6). In Chapters 7-10, she then helps her readers to organize material for "Teaching Stories," "Vision Stories," "Value-in-Action Stories," and the aforementioned "I-Know-What-You-Are-Thinking Stories." Although Simmons' approach is systematic and comprehensive, I want to emphasize again the effectiveness of the personal tone of her narrative. Many readers will feel as if they are engaged in an extended conversation with her and, as they complete various exercises, interact with her as well as with the specific suggestions she offers.

In the "Call to Action" that concludes her book, she asserts that "every problem in the world can be addressed - solved, made bearable, even eliminated - with better storytelling. At first, initially this statement seemed somewhat hyperbolic to me and then I realized that some of the most influential leaders throughout human history (e.g. Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.) were master storytellers who anchored their most important ideas within a human context "to communicate with power and impact."

Few (if any) of us are worthy of being included among them but we can at least improve the skills we need to be much more effective when clarifying and then sharing with others our own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. That is why Annette Simmons wrote this book...and that is why I think so highly of it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Do a Review better than Robert Morris's, 15 Dec. 2009
By 
Chris Downing "Chris Downing" (Chippenham, Wilts England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Find, Develop, and Deliver Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact (Hardcover)
I cannot really write a better review than Robert Morris has. But I wanted to say how good the book is. I've also used the previous book as this reviewer has. And I've used it to create (what I thought were) some pretty well recieved presentations. All Annette's points work extremely well so if you think you've finished your presentation skills development, this book could kick you up to the next level. If you've ever wondered why great public speakers seem to do things just right, this book could offer up some huge insights for you. You may think people buy from you, agree with you because of the great factual message you give - but it's so much more than that. You really need to connect and storytelling helps you do that like nothing else. Most conference keynote speaches are stories, most motivational talks are stories, the best presentations by leading politicians are nearly always stories. There are plenty of examples out there every day if you are observant. This book will help you understand all the issues and push you up to a new level of communication impact.

I'd also point you to the best book I ever found for creating presentions for Director Level audiences. You won't go far wrong with this classic written about 20 years ago. Read both books, apply what you read, and you'll be one of the best. Powerspeak: Engage, Inspire and Stimulate Your Audience
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone who wants to engage, persuade and influence, 27 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Find, Develop, and Deliver Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact (Hardcover)
I buy a lot of books. I even start reading some of them! However, it is rare for me to read a whole book and complete it within a week.

Annette Simmons' book was a one of those rare exceptions. Sure, I was motivated by the fact that I speak to audiences and coach leaders (who need to understand the power of good storytelling), but not every book of this type keeps me engaged to the end.

I've known for years that it is a powerful story, not simply raw data and "irrefutable" logic, that engages hearts and minds, builds a sustainable memory, and inspires action. I also know I need to get better at this art since my "clever" logic has rarely been enough to win people over! It has been great to discover a book that not only gives us the theory but provides a practical framework for developing our storytelling.

Annette's book is a really well-structured and easy to read resource that gently but convincingly pushes back on our cultural and educational focus upon a mechanistic and logical approach to persuasion. As good salespeople know, people make decisions on emotion and then defend their decision with logic. Let us no longer deny the central role of subjectivity but learn to work with it!

It is no coincidence that another business author whose work I DO read cover to cover is Patrick Lencioni For example: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (J-B Lencioni Series). Each of his key messages and models is beautifully presented within an engaging fictional story that people can easily relate to. I constantly recommend his books to others and I am now doing the same with "Whoever Tells The Best Story Wins"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Using Storytelling to persuade, 12 July 2010
By 
Hugo Minney "hugie" (Durham, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Find, Develop, and Deliver Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact (Hardcover)
An excellent and sensibly structured book to get the best out of all of your interactions - become more persuasive with colleagues, customers, children and of course (and most importantly) your own children.
With this level of persuasion, be clear about what you want!
Combine with Power of Personal Storytelling for best effect!

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars confusing, unclear, useless, 5 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Find, Develop, and Deliver Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact (Hardcover)
I was very disappointed in this book. Having bought it for the specific reason
of learning something about using storytelling in a sales/persuasion context I was
I quickly found that there was very little to learn or gain from it.

The book launches itself as a guide for professionals wanting to use stories in a
business or organization context, but as another reviewer points out, the author quickly
makes the disclaimer that storytelling cannot really be told, being too subjective and
ambigious an art form.

This is the root problem of the book. One hand the author sets out to give us some
tools on storytelling on the other hand, she doesn't really believe this is possible,
the result is a bunch of concepts and a methodology that is unclear and confusing
and a lot of story examples that doesn't seem to be examples of what she claims they are.

Perhaps this book is for the more emotionally or "subjective" (a pet word of the author's)
inclinded, in need of a bit of inspiration. People looking for useful and practical advice
should look elsewhere.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't finish it, 18 Sept. 2014
By 
L. E. H. Thie "Lucia Broms-Thie" (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Find, Develop, and Deliver Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact (Hardcover)
I had difficulties staying awake for this one. Yes, storytelling works, yes, it's a good idea and then it just got very boring. Not exactly an example of good storytelling. Having said that, I am a professional copywriter, I have studied literature (and narratology), so perhaps it's just because I saw a lot of the stuff I already knew works.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Storytelling is not a skill set??, 8 July 2011
This review is from: Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Find, Develop, and Deliver Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact (Hardcover)
I bought the book on the basis of the other reviews here, but put is down as soon as I started reading the opening line of chapter 3 -

"Good storytelling is not a skill set. It is not achieved by following a recipe" ..... " Thus we can never have a reliable recipe or skill set for story telling"

Really? If it's not a learnable skill set, then why write a book about how to do it?

I couldn't be bothered to read any more after that.
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