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Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact
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Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  378 ratings  ·  44 reviews
CEO Refresher The Best Books of 2007
Hardcover, 226 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by AMACOM/American Management Association (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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Start your review of Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact
Anandh Sundar
Dec 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
"The ab-sence of human presence in today’s high-tech lifestyle leaves peo-ple starved for attention. Stories help people feel acknowledged,connected, and less alone. Your stories help them feel more alive. The sense of human presence in communication is frequently elbowed out by ‘‘criteria’’ designed to make communication clear,bite-sized, and attention grabbing, but which instead oversimpli-fies, truncates, and irritates. These ‘‘subgoals’’ often obscure the real goal: human connection. by ...more
Rick Austin
This book really helps to understand how the things we say and how we say them have such a huge impact upon our audience. Everyone sees the world through their own eyes that have been impacted by their life experiences. This book delves into the psychology of hearing and telling stories. Provides great advice on how to reveal more of yourself to create a personal connection, and a non-confrontational connection. A lot of exercises that help you use these techniques and great "stories" to ...more
Agile Kindergarten
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reminds me of the old saying, "Numbers don't tell stories, people do." Set up like a workbook to help people develop concise yet vivid stories that communicate concepts more effectively than simple statements or numbers. The best thing about the book is the reinforcement it provides that a certain type of story telling belongs in business and government. We depend on facts at our own peril. All decisions have an emotional component, if we don't use appropriate emotional tools, we weaken ...more
Aug 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is a slow reading but worth it. It is more a workbook than a how to book. There are many pages with blanks in five categories for you to fill in as you study. It is tied together nicely in the last chapter. I recommend reading it through first, slightly slower than skimming, and then reread it, filling in the blanks/writing with your own ideas. Optionally you may wish to use a small separate notebook, matching and titling the chapters. Then read the whole again. If later, you decide to ...more
Jan 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The art of storytelling again explained beautifully and sensibly by Annette Simmons
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Do you know what it's like when just the right book falls into your hands at just the right time? I've been meaning to read "Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins" for a long time, and now I'm so glad I did!

In this book, Annette Simmons weaves together business stories, strategies, and insights, along with an underlying theme advocating for honesty, self-reflection, and open-hearted listening. The book is also a journal for making notes on potential stories, with step-by-step instructions on how to
Kirk Hanley
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A guide to stories and how to use them in a business setting. The author presents six categories of stories:

Who-I-Am Stories
Why-I-Am-Here Stories
Teaching Stories
Vision Stories
Values-in-Action Stories

Within each, she gives examples of stories inspired by a time you shined, a time you blew it, a mentor, and a book, movie, or current event. The concrete examples were nice, but I could have used a little more information on how organizations can draw out these
Matthew Miller
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent use of storytelling to teach storytelling. The four main storytelling styles Simmons gives are great prompts to discover meaningful stories that are personal or fictional.
Peter Backx
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is all about story telling to convince and explain concepts to people.

Simmons explains that story telling should be seen as an addition to "cool hard facts". Because humans are empathetic beings, we are inherently wired to understand concepts better and quicker through stories. Although stories are, by definition, subjective it's the quickest way to explain what needs to be explained.

The book goes into different kinds of stories and different story lines and the combination of those.
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership
Storytelling is such an important skill in leadership. I decided to buckle down and read this and The Story Factor with my colleague Jane. The author provided some food for thought on how to build my skills. We currently use several chapters from this in class.

I prefer this one over The Story Factor.

My Tweet: Attendance precedes influence. Draw from 4 buckets (i.e. a time you shined/blew it; mentors, pop culture/current events). Story increases subjective thinking.
Ray Kyo
Dec 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-read

"If I feel I know you personally I will attribute twice as much trustworthiness to you"
"When you reveal something personal about yourself, people feel they know you"
"People don't relax and listen to what is in it for them until they are satisfied they know what's in it for YOU"
"You can tell someone to be patient, but it's rarely helpful. Better to tell as story that creates a shared experience"

These are few statements I like in this book.
Oct 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the nutshell:
- stories not numbers connect people
- tell the stories to make personal connection
- share your values, beliefs, aspirations by telling your stories to influence others
- risk to be subjective in your stories
- add sensory details

Also books provides a structure to help you find different kid of stories

It's good book about important topic, but as for me it was too shallow
Jan 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-for-work, 2013
I read this for a workplace book club.

I didn't care for it. I think the concept is good. I would like to improve my own story telling techniques. I just didn't like the writing style of this book. Other books we have read in this group have had more direct and practical appliction.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots to consider, favorite quotes include:
“We are getting past the mantra ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ and learning that if you can’t measure it, you have to manage it by paying attention to the stories you tell” Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins p.52

“Morale is not a function of removing problems. Work is always full of problems. Good morale thrives when a clear sense of personal engagement shrinks unavoidable problems from mountains to tolerable bumps in the road” (p53)

Jian Du
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Billie Pritchett
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Annette Simmons' Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins is a good book about the power of storytelling, and although the focus is on storytelling in corporate work settings, the advice applies to other areas including creative writing. According to Simmons, there are four types of stories: a time you shined, a time you failed, a time you mentored or were mentored to, and, finally, an event you were exposed to in a book, a movie, the news, or elsewhere. Then there are different ways to frame the ...more
I read this book based on a recommendation by a classmate who read the book after her library lost a referendum vote and had to look at how to share her library's story to the community. Simmons focus was on using stories to telling others (individuals, groups, companies) stories in six areas: Who Am I, Why Am I Here, Teaching, Vision, Value in Action, and I Know What You Are Thinking. In each of these areas stories can come from four places: A time you shined, A time you blew it, A mentor, and ...more
Walter Adamson
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Annette Simmon writes very clearly and directly, and provides numerous examples of power and impact in storytelling. The book comes is in the nature of a workbook. She shows how by knowing the type of story that you need to tell in any situation you can achieve the influence you desire.

To be honest, I did not fill out the worksheet sections as I wanted to get on and read her other book The Story Factor. I recommend that you do better than me and take action using this book. Actions counts!
Adrian Li
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was not too bad, but it certainly wasn't exactly fun to go through it (so I didn't). I more or less skimmed it while reading deeper into the sections I was interested in. I think this book is probably best used as a reference rather than something to read cover-to-cover with.

When you happen to have a project where you need to communicate something important, then I would recommend spending an hour with this book to see what techniques you could use. Otherwise, I don't think there are
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised by the simplicity and the unexpected stories-within-story style of narrative. I highlighted many lines and shared more than I'd expected I would. Also has an appendix on teaching storytelling which I found really useful. Thanks for the thought!
Overall, it opened my eyes to stories we tell ourselves, at work, at home and how they are created, elaborated and sometimes replaced.
It was definitely a joy to read and for the price it was definitely a bargain.
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a good book not only on telling the brand story, but also ontelling the story of anything or anyone. As the co-organizer of TEDxTehran and also a curator, I found this book very informtive and helpful.
Massanutten Regional Library
Brittany, Shenandoah patron, June 2019, 5 stars:

Great read! Very informative & captivating!
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Will change the way you present your ideas/pitches/products to people.
I thought this was okay but I wasn't super impressed by it. I already kind of understand the power of story and try to use it, but this just didn't really grab me.
Jerry Campbell
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lot of exercises in this book. My kids loved to tag along in my reading. We are to the point where we share stories over dinner. Thanks.
Justin Anderson
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it
The book reinforces the power that subjective thinking (communicated through stories) has over rational thinking. I didn't become a better story teller through reading the book. However, I feel more conscious and open to improving on this most important skill. It was a quick and very fun read!
Ben Smitthimedhin
Read this in 2014. Was too practical that it became dull. The whole book was just fill-in-the-blank exercises.
Teri Temme
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great tips! Enjoyable read. Recommended in my Storytelling class.
Thomas Christianson
Sep 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Solid book, nothing earth shattering. A lot of blank pages make it a short read.
Troy Shu
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Most of it wasn't very concise, interesting overall insight though, some useful tactics.
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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
“Once you give your attention to the title Don’t Think of an Elephant, no matter how hard you try you cannot not think of an elephant. It is the same way with stories.” 1 likes
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