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Stories That Move Mountains: Storytelling and Visual Design for Persuasive Presentations Paperback – 26 Oct 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (26 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118423992
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118423998
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.4 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

if you want to influence others to make a decision, improve something or agree to change then this is the book for you.   ( www.bcs.org, December 2012)

′Strong visual presentation which makes it easy to absorb the authors message concepts are well explained with clear examples...very good guidance on visual design particularly useful for non–specialists. (HR Zone, February 2013)

From the Back Cover

Make your next presentation a Success Story

The secret is out and it′s called CAST, an amazing new presentation system that combines sophisticated storytelling and visualization techniques. While it may not literally have the power to move mountains or part the Red Sea, wherever it′s been used to sell an idea or spark organizational change, the results have been nothing short of miraculous. If you′ve been tasked with selling a revolutionizing product, pitching a concept, or getting people on board with change, your life just got a lot easier. Written by the creators of CAST and the Visual Story Map model a powerful process visualization tool Stories That Move Mountains gives you everything you need to put this high–impact presentation process to work right away. The book includes:

  • A practical introduction to CAST concepts, tools, and techniques
  • Sample Visual Story Maps and templates
  • Illustrated mini–guides showing how to use specific techniques most effectively
  • Step–by–step guidance on how to create your own Visual Story Maps
  • Expert advice on how to deliver high–impact presentations
  • One–page handouts and other valuable presentation aids
  • Tips on how to reengineer the same presentation for different audiences

Detailed worked examples that run through the book with screenshots, handwritten notes, and images of whiteboards to illustrate how to apply the techniques in the real world Selling change is hard. Motivating people to enthusiastically embrace and act on it, nearly impossible. Learn how to harness the power of visual storytelling and make the hard simple and the nearly impossible easier than you ever imagined it could be. The companion website at www.storiesthatmovemountains.com features examples of CAST in action; links and blog postings to more examples; and downloadable Story Maps and other templates from the book.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book hopes to make clear how to deliver a great presentation. I wish it did!

It presents a system for visual storytelling. Unfortunately the book ends up SO visual that I found it pretty difficult to read. Just look at the front cover picture on this Amazon entry - ripped paper, hand-drawn diagrams, picture, colour bars. The pages inside are often like this too - they've just got to put something jazzy or zingy or splatty; maybe some text, or a cartoon, or a quote, or a grid, or a venn diagram, or a fake coffee stain, dotted lines, post it notes, drop shadows, fake corkboards - OMG make it stop!

Everything is jumping up and down and shouting for attention - "Me! Me! Meeee!". Does that matter? Well good visual storytelling should help tell the story and support the meaning of the words. Here I found all this visual noise got between me and the content, made it look confused. And considering the book wants to teach you visual storytelling it's odd that they do it so poorly themselves. I lose confidence when I see that.

OK so what about the words... well it's way too long. The content is often over-explained with endless introductions to what we're about to learn and meticulous detail while we're learning it. On the 'About The Authors' page for example, each author (EACH one, mind!) has a detailed biog, a quote from a fellow author about what a great person he is, a basic flow chart showing what jobs he's done, a dedication from him to his loved ones, and a head and shoulders pencil sketch. This takes 3 pages. Then there's another page on why they wrote the book. Goodness me, who cares! No wonder this book ends up at 259 pages. I think the 3 authors must have overpowered the 1 editor and insisted that all their verbose paragraphs made it in intact.
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By A. J. Sudworth VINE VOICE on 11 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Its an excellent read - gives you a structure to stop your presentations being death by powerpoint. Why? because it shows you that you decide what story you want to tell before deciding how it might look - because no matter hw good the graphics a poor story is a poor story and the audience will be dozing before you hit slide 2 ..
The CAST framework is nice and simple (I won't elaborate that because its core to the book ) and I gather comes from a military background where clear simple briefings are an absolute must.

Finally someone has described why some presentations are deadly to sit through - and then shown you how to do it right - or at least tell a story people might just listen to - whch is kinda what presentations are all about

Well worth a look
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By Sussman TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 April 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First-rate combination of well know concepts and designs, that put into a practice, will enable you to essentially follow through and achieve pronounced results. This is not just an academic treatment but rather this book goes beyond the normal academic reflections. The many writers put forth as knowledge base from which to from. While some of the back bone theory and presumptions may be a bit questionable in places as outlined by a few reviewers, this should detract the reader/practitioner from this book - which does deliver the `goods'. As one review puts it succinctly, about the Authors and other contributors to (CAST) - they've gone through the crucible so you don't have to.
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By Martin Turner HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Stories That Move Mountains is a guide to doing presentations the Microsoft way (among others). It's not a guide to their software, but rather an instruction manual on the CAST system for visual storytelling which Microsoft uses in-house to overcome 'death by PowerPoint'. It contains reams of good advice about focusing on your audience, telling stories rather than just presenting data, and how to make projects seem comprehensible and even interesting.

Very little of this material is new -- as the authors happily acknowledge. Parts of it go back as far as Aristotle. However, in assembling the best of everything, the authors have fairly uncritically mixed things which are of low importance with things which are very important with things which are not true at all*.

The central part of the book summarises The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, which was an attempt eight years ago by Christopher Booker to identify the fundamental plots which drive all successful stories. Unfortunately, none of the authors had read the book all the way through (as they acknowledge in the bibliography), and they also quite clearly didn't read the large number of articles by serious literary critics that pointed out that Booker's seven didn't really work. For those for whom seven isn't enough, the authors also refer the reader on to 20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them.

This is real painting by numbers stuff, and this is what this book is.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Wow.

This is a brilliant book on how to put together presentations to grip your intended audience and it's very well written too. I've used some of the basic tools they look at and they have proved very effective. There's nothing particularly new here - it's about using narrative to engage your audience, but it's nicely set out and they practice what they preach - the book flows nicely.

What I really liked about this book was that it catered for everyone. This isn't a dummies guide to Powerpoint, more a tool to help everyone, from communication novices to experts, better their skills and improve their presentations (no matter what the format).

A big thumbs up from me.
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