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The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling
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The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling

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3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  847 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
What's your story? Who are you? Where do you come from? What do you want? When you seek to influence others, you face these questions and more. 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 ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 5th 2002 by Basic Books (first published November 2000)
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Omar Halabieh
May 12, 2012 Omar Halabieh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As the title indicates, this is a book about the power of storytelling as an influencing tool. As Annette best tells it: "People don't want more information. They are up to their eyeball in information. They want faith...Faith needs a story to sustain it - a meaningful story that inspires belief in you and renews hope that your ideas indeed offer what you promise...Story is your path to creating faith. Telling a meaningful story means inspiring your listeners...to reach the same conclusions you ...more
Geoffrey
Jan 13, 2016 Geoffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
After seeing it referred to in another book, I had this book sitting in my "wishlist" on Amazon for months. Then I slipped it into a shipment of books that I ordered and it sat on my shelf for several more months. Finally, during my summer holidays, I pulled it out and began to read.

Annette Simmons is inspirational about the power of story. I was reading the book as a ministry leader, rather than as a professional speaker. It reminded me of the power of non rational communication, the power of c
...more
Taka
Not very helpful--

I was very excited to start on this book after reading so many good reviews about it. I had my pen at the ready to underline valuable passages and take notes. I expected it to give me specific techniques and tips to improve my storytelling skills.

But alas, my expectations were too high and unreasonable. I came away with a little bit more of appreciation for story and what it can do, but that's about it. No specific techniques or tips that could improve my skills as a storytelle
...more
Will Jeffries
Apr 21, 2011 Will Jeffries rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely enjoy storytelling and believe this ancient art-form to be the foundation of civilization. If you are interested in storytelling, I would recommend you visit Doug Lipman, which the author of this book recommends as well: http://storydynamics.com/

Also, a famous storyteller that I have grown to love over the years is Leo Sofer: http://www.palaceofstories.com/
He offers free downloads of his stories as podcasts before they make it to the "buy me" page - so, I would encourage you to hop
...more
Maria
Mar 30, 2016 Maria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i'm extremely disappointed

i can't believe that a book about storytelling can be so boring. oh maybe it's my expectations that were wrong? basically, i wanted a kind of tutorial. like, here's how you build a story - 1, 2, 3. those are the types, those are the points, those are the tools. instead a got a whole book of water

well, they mentioned the story types in the very beginning, but that was it. the rest of the book was about "stories are so powerful, it's so awesome, omg, stories are cool". i
...more
Ed
May 27, 2010 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-mba
This book ran hot and cold for me. Some chapters I found boring and others inspiring. I think if it had some exercises or challenged me to think more about relating my personal experiences to the stories in the book it would have engaged me more. It did enlighten me to the power of storytelling and for that it was worth the read. This is not a 'read it and master it' type of book. It is a starting point and a good introduction.
Jocelyn Kelly
My favorite book written about storytelling and storytelling techniques. The six types of stories help anyone understand how useful stories can be in communicating with people who are you and what you stand for. A must-have for entrepreneurs, I can also recommend this to writers, artists and specifically for anyone who blogs.
Clare
Nov 29, 2010 Clare rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who has an interest in how storytelling can be used for more effective communication (in business as well as personal situations) should read this book. It makes an incredibly compelling and clear case for the use of story and highlights a range of potential applications and benefits from using a story-based approach.

As I made my way through the book I was hoping for some more 'how to' information. The new chapter in the paperback edition, 'Story Thinking as a Skill', was certainly the c
...more
Mark Ruzomberka
Jul 26, 2011 Mark Ruzomberka rated it really liked it
If you are familiar with the movie Inception then you know the line "What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient... highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed - fully understood - that sticks; right in there somewhere."

A wise man once told me "Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story." I think that applies here. It reminds me that people simply do not un
...more
Wendy
Feb 02, 2010 Wendy rated it liked it
What did I learn from this book? What do I want to remember? Story of 3 men - 1 laying bricks, 1 building a wall, 1 building a cahtedral . . . storytelling can help us see the cathedral. Ask a 5-year-old if she can draw and she will enthusiastically say ‘Yes!’ Ask a group of adults the same question and they will hesitate . . . our lives are a story and we are already telling that one perfectly. Jewish Teaching Story – naked truth is rejected at every door. Clothe the truth in parable and it is ...more
Jim Peterson
I read this book for work.

I would recommend The Story Factor to anyone interested in learning how to convert what they've learned from reading, writing and telling stories into a potential success factor in the world of work.

Simmons explains how to use storytelling as a way to influence others. It sounds tricky, and it is, but it's essential for people working in sales, marketing or, like me, copywriting. The author does, however, emphasise that it is important to use this skill for worthy cause
...more
Amanda
May 31, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't recall why I placed this on my list of books to read, but there it sat for six and half years.

Now that I have partnered with the world's foremost storytelling experts to deliver their Storytelling for Leaders program in the United States, I rescued this book from my "to read shelf" and read it on their recommendation. The author's work certainly informed and educated the workshop creators, who tip their hat to Annette Simmons' expertise, but the entities are separate. That being said, t
...more
Laura
Jul 04, 2013 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not find this book useful. Annette Simmons focuses on why story is important and its effectiveness as a tool of influence and persuasion, but not so much on how to construct and use story effectively. At one point she argues that one can't really tell another how to tell a story - it's too instinctive and individual a process. So not much help there. She also continually intertwines "telling stories' with "living our story." The result is confusing, abstract, and more philosophical than pr ...more
John Kaufmann
Oct 29, 2014 John Kaufmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know what to expect, but this book kind of grabbed me. It was full of wise advice, a lot of it in pithy form. The book is about the importance of stories, including how to tell stories that influence. And, of course, it uses a lot of little stories and vignettes to make its points.

Facts appeal to the rational brain and often don't convince us. Stories appeal more to our emotions.Facts are one-dimensional, stories multi-dimensional. Where facts are direct, stories are more subtle and ind
...more
John Capecci
As others have pointed out, it's important to be clear about what Simmon's very good overview is focused upon - business communication, and where, why, and when to use stories to influence others in a business setting. As such, The Story Factor stands as a good summary of how stories can be part of your strategic communication plan. Its strength is that it is a compelling, expansive argument, one that can be given to business colleagues who still doubt that story can be persuasive.

However, if yo
...more
Brett
A must read for salespeople, business owners, politicians, and anyone who needs to learn how to influence others (which is basically everyone on the planet).

This is an incredibly good book, explaining very clearly how to use the power of stories to help people see things your way.

As I said, YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.
Nancy
Jun 27, 2007 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Business Leaders and Storytellers
A great tool to have in your library if you are part of leading a company or organization. Simmons does a marvelous job gathering stories that really truly get the point across. I use this book in my storytelling class and the students love it.
Lee
Oct 06, 2015 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author is so insightful, there is advice here that applies to life not just storytelling.
Linda Sands
Loved this book. The power of stories. Time to revisit & think about this oldest tool of influence.
Mahipal Lunia
Finished a refresher on this book as I prepare to go through Slideology again. If you are new to Story Telling, this is a GOOD PREMIER. The key take away from the book is thinking of the 6 key stories every story teller needs to be able to tell/structure.
The Story Factor By Annete Simmons
6 Kinds of Stories You Must Be Able to Tell
People dont want more information, they want stories through which they can have "faith in you." You can connect and influence people with 6 kinds of stories
1. "Who I
...more
Cathy Allen
I will put this on my list of top ten books on personal development. A how-to book on influencing others that begins with self-reflection and the integrity required to project authenticity and believability. This book is very well done, and I see how it earned its spot in the "100 Best Business Books of All Time."

Much like Stephen R. Covey (who wrote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, among other things) Annette Simmons is not a fan of technique. That is to say, she believes that only basi
...more
Missy Reid
Feb 01, 2015 Missy Reid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing this book is missing is practical advice so marketers and PR reps can put storytelling to daily use. I'm not a feature writer and therefore don't have the luxury of several thousand words to accomplish a solid piece of persuasion. I'd find it useful to see how others have used the storytelling model in a pithy manner, or even in visual communications. I'm convinced story is powerful. If that was Simmons' goal, then mission accomplished. I expected it to dig a little deeper.
Graham
Nov 12, 2014 Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend had given me Made to Stick and this book, The Story Factor to read. While I enjoyed Made to Stick, I confess that I really enjoyed reading this book by Annette Simmons. The Story Factor explains more of why we all love a good story and that story is a way to do many, many things. Do you want to sell something? Great - tell a story. Do you need to convince your board of directors to lean a particular way? Okay, tell a story. Having difficulty teaching your children a certain life-lesson? ...more
Dmytro
May 06, 2016 Dmytro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The general gist of this book is that telling people stories is much more likely to deliver the message to people than telling them facts.
It describes the strategies for delivering messages effectively via stories.
It also provides many good examples.

I had a lot of good takeaways from the book such as:
- Stories are told from a point of view, by telling a story you can guide someone to see something from your point of view
- Not having enough facts is rarely the cause of poor decision making in
...more
Renee shi yan Liu
This book is a little bit longer-than-it-is-supposed-to-be. There are huge bulks devoted to explain why story telling is beneficial. I was more expecting for how to tell a good story. Maybe I should resort to novelist memoirs... However, this book indeed points out a new way of thinking-- thinking in story, which is non-linear, perspective-flexible, instead of fixated fact-based thinking mode. Story simultaneously created mind space for listeners. Stories, even those ordinary ones that only tell ...more
Ko Matsuo
This book was incredibly fascinating and boring at the same time.

Simmons' analysis about why stories work well is well worth the read. She talks about how facts are neutral until we bring our own meaning into them; how the human condition is both happy and sad, fun-loving and serious, and good and bad; how influence is determined by how well we connect with people; how we are fundamentally emotional beings in our decision making and how a false sense of authority is a liability in being able to
...more
Herb Abrams
Oct 20, 2015 Herb Abrams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised. This book is valuable. It is full of nuts and bolts concepts related to storytelling.

Any book that inspires me to take notes is a good one.

Neenz Faleafine
Jan 19, 2015 Neenz Faleafine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've expanded my knowledge of the value of storytelling and increased my working vocabulary with storyLISTENING and storyTHINKING. Now to implement!
John M.
Good story :-). Lots of good suggestions for how to add impact to what you're trying to impart or who you're trying to influence.
Sara
This book was a gift. It has already proven to be really useful. I would've never picked it out, but I'm really glad I read it!
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Annette Simmons is a vibrant keynote speaker, consultant and author of four books: The Story Factor named as one of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time, Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins , A Safe Place for Dangerous Truth (AMACOM, 1998), and Territorial Games: Understanding and Ending Turf Wars at Work.

Annette started with a business degree from Louisiana State University in 1983, spent ten ye
...more
More about Annette Simmons...

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“It is safe to assume that any individual or group you wish to influence has access to more wisdom than they currently use. It is also safe to assume that they also have considerably more facts than they can process effectively. Giving them even more facts adds to the wrong pile. They don't need more facts. They need help finding their wisdom. Contrary to popular belief, bad decisions are rarely made because people don't have all the facts.” 9 likes
“The telling and hearing of stories is a bonding ritual that breaks through illusions of separateness and activates a deep sense of our collective interdependence.” 5 likes
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