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The Story Factor

Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling

By Annette Simmons
16-minute read
Audio available
The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling by Annette Simmons

The Story Factor explains what a powerful tool narratives can be, and unravels the art of telling your own stories. Stories are far more effective than mere facts or figures when you're making a presentation or trying to inspire people to take action.

  • Anyone who wants to learn how to influence others
  • Anyone who often gives talks, presentations or lectures
  • Anyone who wants to improve their public-speaking skills

Annette Simmons turned a career in marketing and an interest in psychology into a new way of thinking about the age-old art of storytelling. She is an expert in the art of narrative who has given popular storytelling seminars for years. She is also the author of Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins.

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The Story Factor

Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling

By Annette Simmons
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling by Annette Simmons
Synopsis

The Story Factor explains what a powerful tool narratives can be, and unravels the art of telling your own stories. Stories are far more effective than mere facts or figures when you're making a presentation or trying to inspire people to take action.

Key idea 1 of 10

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.

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.

Let's say you have a colleague who frequently sends obnoxious-sounding emails around the office because he can’t be bothered to word them properly, and you’d like him to change his behavior. 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.

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