Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story
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Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  423 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Today everyone – whether they know it or not – is in the emotional transportation business. More and more, success is won by creating compelling stories that have the power to move partners, shareholders, customers, and employees to action. Simply put, if you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it. And this book tells you how to do both.

Historically, stories have always been ign...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Crown Business (first published January 1st 2011)
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StoryBranding by Jim SignorelliTell to Win by Peter GuberWinning the Story Wars by Jonah SachsWhoever Tells the Best Story Wins by Annette SimmonsLead with a Story by Paul                       ...
Storytelling
2nd out of 15 books — 4 voters
3D Movie Making by Bernard MendiburuThink in 3D by Clyde DsouzaTell to Win by Peter GuberStereoscopic Cinema & the Origins of 3-D Film, 1838-1952 by Ray Zone3-D Filmmakers by Ray Zone
Stereoscopic 3D filmmaking
3rd out of 8 books — 1 voter


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,195)
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Antoinette Perez
As a reader, there is work to do. There are a number of distractions to work through: the author's penchant for name-dropping; stories to support the author's points that are so long that you forget the original point he was trying to make; many outrageous opportunities for the author to insist that a company's wild success or magnificent turn-around hinged on That. One. Story.

The author predictably (and sometimes confusingly) tells stories to illustrate his theories about the power of story in...more
Agustinus Wibowo
A book on storytelling, but its greatest failure is the storytelling itself. The author emphasizes that good story should have compelling beginning, but the opening chapter of the book is extremely boring (was that Mandalay? Major league? Minor league? Whatever!), and the following chapters also made me fall asleep (at least 4 times in 2 hours!). Every point has very long anecdotes which came from the author’s own experience, but the anecdotes are too wordy (very distracting) and too much of nam...more
Dennis Fischman
Fifty pages into Peter Guber’s acclaimed book Tell to Win, I was getting more and more upset. Where were the women?

Not in the blurbs on the back cover: from Roger Ailes to Mohammed Yunus, all men. Not in the many stories that Guber told to “connect, persuade and triumph with the hidden power of story” (the subtitle of his book).

All of the stories he included were told by and about men. The exception that proved the rule was Susan Feniger, co-owner of the Border Grill chain…and her story was told...more
steve
This may be called "Tell to Win", but the weakest part of it is the story telling. There are some good ideas in here, and the thesis of the thing is good, but the pattern of explanation gets really monotonous.

Gruber's pattern is basically
* Here's my point (good)
* Here is some obvious name dropping (whatever)
* Here are some anecdotes which make my point (gets boring)

To save you the trouble of reading the book, the main idea is that human beings are hard-wired to learn, and be persuaded by, the...more
Tyler Hurst
Less instructional than I expected, which I got over quickly.

Really a recap of all the stories the author used to achieve success in his life, with some cursory learning points thrown in at the end of the chapters.

The content is good, but, although the author is quite good at at least sounding humble, it reads like a "i'm successful and here are the highlights why" than a "how to tell good stories" book.

Don't take my three star rating as negative, as I did enjoy the read, but was more entertain...more
Joe
I was looking for a book like this, so I'm glad someone wrote about the importance of business storytelling. Maybe I'm just sensitive to name-dropping, and I'm sure Mr. Guber just hangs out with the kind of people that are household names - but oh man cut us a break. It was more distracting than anything else when he told stories about famous people, and I think it actually undermined the message bit, making it seem less academic. Also, a bit trite. But still worth a quick read.
Travis
Peter Guber spoke at a conference I was at and then gave us all one of these books. I read it on the plane ride home and it's pretty interesting. Mostly stories about Peter's life and how they can be related to sales and / or life in general.

You don't have to read this book because I can tell you what's it about in a few sentences. A rock is just a rock until you call it a "pet rock". Then it has a story. You just bought the story, not the rock.
Derrick Trimble
As a screenwriting novice, I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't know about Peter Guber. Even more so as I flicked through this book with breakneck speed devouring the stories of one of Hollywood's most well connected people. Guber's book is rich in anecdotes of regarding the power of story through personal interaction with some incredible people.

Normally I don't like name dropping books, because as a Normal Joe I don't have stories like Guber's to tell. In this case, however, I was delighted...more
Blog on Books
Peter Guber is an emotional guy. In addition to his networking skills, honed through his high profile jobs at Sony Pictures, Casablanca Filmworks and his own Mandalay company, Guber resonates a keen sense of passion about all he does.

When Guber, along with former partner Jon Peters, were tapped to run Sony’s high-powered, motion picture unit, they became the target of widespread stories about the excesses of Hollywood and how the Japanese got hosed in their attempts to “buy America.” The culmina...more
Nick
I normally don't read business books or show business books. This was both, but told in such an unusual fashion that I found it to be intriguing.
Peter Guber has been part of the entertainment industry for decades, and used this book to share his enthusiasm for the concept of story and storytelling. During the course of the book, he uses examples from his own life and from the lives of the "rich and famous" about how story or the failure to use story has affected their business endeavors.
Many Hol...more
David H Deans
Peter Guber's account of his career in the entertainment industry is very insightful. Read this book to discover the hidden power of storytelling, and also learn how sometimes the most simple ideas - when executed well - can catapult your career in a legacy company, such as a major player in the traditional motion picture industry.

Peter's honest assessment, of his numerous successes and failures, is a testament to his accomplished career as a man of action. His point of view perhaps can be summe...more
Nick
Peter Guber tells you everything except how to construct a story in this insightful, chatty, and ultimately fascinating work. Well, he says stories start with a complication, then raise the tension, then resolve it -- a beginning, middle, and end. But almost every other book on storytelling says the same thing, so that's hardly groundbreaking. What Guber is good on is setting up the atmospherics to tell a persuasive story. So, for example, he tells one on himself. When he went to lure Larry King...more
Kevin Mogee
I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The concept is great and the results speak for themselves, but the author's constant name-dropping was more than a little annoying. It almost became laughable when his story about Fenway and being entertained by the new owner of the Red Sox just happened to coincide with Jon Lester's no hitter. Clearly the story is more important than the truth. But I guess that's kind of the point and to be expected from a Hollywood guy.

Don't get me wrong, th...more
Erwin
not a manual. not analysis. not methodology. not counterexamples.

stories are powerful. how do you write stories and tell stories that persuade and win? somebody should write a book on that topic, but that's not what mr guber did.

this is a memoir. mr guber's biography up until this point. want to know who mr guber knows? he has a great network. you can read all about his network here. but what has mr guber created, and why would I want to read his memoir? sounds like a talented executive, but im...more
Telly McGaha
I felt like the author focused more on anecdotal evidence rather than practical instruction on how to craft a compelling story in order to serve a reader's cause. Some of the stories were interesting in and of themselves, but didn't really provide a unique insight that helped me to do my own storytelling. Moreover, the author seems obsessed with dropping names. Nearly every story he shares is a story from someone famous. Certainly, a celebrity or CEO is going to have a certain pull that the comm...more
Nic Brisbourne
Loved this book. It has transformed the way I think about presentations and pitches , or stories as I now think of them. I started using Peters ideas to good effect before I'd finished his book.

Key takeaways:
- a good story has crisis/challenge, struggle and resolution, and a hero
- create surprise by building expectation and then violating it
- look for a shared problem with your audience
- concentrate on the emotions you want your audience to feel to get their support, don't sell on dry facts, f...more
Bethwoodhall
I listened to this book rather than read it. I was overwhelmed with the name dropping with movie and entertainment celebrities and often felt the book was about bragging rather than telling powerful stories. About halfway through I got past being star struck and began to feel the rhythm of the lessons. Perhaps the visual structure of printed pages would have provided a better tool for retention and application. I can recall the stories because of the famous characters, but not the lessons of "th...more
Rolando Gill
Wow! I tried to avoid the reviews because the book was highly recommended by someone I respect. It turns out the reviews were right. The author name drops so much that I got really bored listening to it. Some of the stories are good but they are long and they don't really reinforce the points he is trying to make. Long book that focuses mainly on reinforcing the coolness factor of Peter Guber. Yeah, yeah yeah you are cool and you met a lot of people and some of those stories are cool. But, that...more
Bryan
Entertaining and someone informative book about using storytelling as a business tool. Guber uses stories from his own life to illustrate his message, which is - use stories from your own life to illustrate your message.

At several moments in this book, I was a little annoyed by the amount of name-dropping the obviously well-connected Guber does to make is points. But I kept reminding myself that he was telling the stories he knew, just like I would likely do (though my stories would never be qui...more
Pamela Day
Easy fun read focused on the power of context and story. Guber is a good story teller, it is an enjoyable way to understand the power of story/meaning/context in our communications
Scarletredish Rack
The author did a good job of making his points by drawing on how some stories worked and other stories did not. Quite entertaining and it held my attention all the way to the end.
corina
Basically a collection of stories about telling stories from someone who has met a LOT of famous people like Steven Spielberg, Nelson Mandela, Famous Amos guy, Fidel Castro. It's like some gigantic who's who list. I didn't find many new secrets of storytelling but the points are good ones, like the importance of common ground and how good storytelling is not just about you but also about paying attention to your audience. And the overall point (the importance of storytelling) I agree with, and s...more
Laura
Feb 25, 2012 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: public speakers and business professionals
Recommended to Laura by: found it while search library catalogue
Peter Guber's book is about learning to tell stories to bring success into your life. It is a book I will read again more slowly so I can digest the author's message. It has changed my perspective on how to connect with people I meet for the first time, especially if they are someone I want to do something with or for them. I also think I can use the ideas of telling stories online to create an emotional connection with my readers. I have portrayed 'Characters of the Past' in order to bring hist...more
Lani
Peter Guber’s book shows how to tell stories that connect and persuade your audience into action. He provides the business world with the Tell manual essential in persuading others to support a vision, dream, or cause. I think Mr. Guber makes good points and his research has value but his book seemed more focus on name dropping than the art of storytelling. I believe he could have described this method with fewer ‘stories’ to back it up. This book did not need to be 250 pages long. Despite its l...more
Marquita Herald
Peter Guber draws on his life in the entertainment industry and extensive business experience to make Tell to Win come to life. The book is filled with interesting stories about how his success was totally dependent on telling the right story. He also shares some failures which were primarily because he failed to craft a good story.

The book is not a how to manual, but there are plenty of lessons scattered throughout the book on the essential elements necessary for crafting and telling a story.

Angela
I agree with the concept of telling a story to win business. The human interest angle works wonders, as I first discovered as a features reporter. The book is a bit longer than it needs to be and repeats itself. I think the examples are exemplary only because the author has led an extraordinary life. The best parts, I thought, were the stories told about the failures to emphasize the stories told about success.

A good book for reminding one to keep it personal when dealing with business.
Peter Graham
I always knew there was magic about telling stories... Just never seen in print before. I now understand why they are so important and why they work after reading this book. Peter does it in a way that you remember and but I know you can come back and read this book in a year and learn so much more.
Great book on how we learn and why! Found this a easy but good read. Now I know why sometimes it works and other time it does not. You have to read Tell to Win so you'll know.
Melissa
Really interesting book. Stories make the world go round. Without a story things seem less interesting. Having been the head of a major Hollywood studio, Guber has many stories about famous folks and the average Joe as well. I recommend this book to the salesman who wants to close on every call, to the unemployed person who wants to land the next gig and to anyone else who wants to make life's narrative more interesting.
Ken Lawrence


I brought this book on a whim at Borders closing sale. Ended up buying copies for my entire department to read and present chapters in small groups at our monthly staff meetings. Everyone enjoyed it and recognized the power of storytelling in the public affairs arena. There's "no business like show business" but whatever your business, making an emotional connection with your audience can help you close the deal.
Arrica Lee
I actually skipped Part 1 because it is too boring and lengthy. Gosh, I don't want to know about Mandalay or Mandeley and what the fucking story is. I want to go straight to the point on how to tell and win and influence people so I went over to Part 2.

But damn, the second part is even MORE boring than the first. This is more like a memoir/ biographical genre than a business/motivational book. Seriously.
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