The Best Story Wins

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I’ve been working on incorporating story telling into my presentations and came across Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins by Annette Simmons. The book gives you a process for finding, developing, and using your own stories effectively. You’ll learn how to craft specific, intentional messages that get your ideas across using universal story structures, including:

Who-I-Am Stories—What qualities earn you the right to influence someone? People need to know who you are before they can trust you, so get personal. Reveal who you are, as a person, by telling a story about a time, place, or event that reveals that you have the qualities your audience seeks.

Teaching Stories—Certain lessons are best learned from experience—some of them over and over again during a lifetime. Telling a story that creates a shared experience will change behavior much better than offering advice.

Vision Stories—The prospect of a worthy, exciting future can help to reframe present difficulties as “worth it,” turning seemingly huge obstacles into small irritants on the path to a worthwhile goal.

Values-in-Action Stories—Values are subjective. To some, integrity means doing what their boss tells them to do. To others, it means saying no, even if it costs them their job. If you want to encourage a value, tell a story that illustrates in action what that value means in action.

I-Know-What-You-Are-Thinking Stories—Sometimes, people have already made up their mind about the ideas you’re trying to get across. It is a valuable trust-building surprise for you to share their secret suspicions in a story that first validates and then dispels their objections without sounding defensive.

This book not only inspired me to incorporate storytelling into my skillset, but to also read classical stories to learn more about good story telling techniques and metaphors.

I plan to read more of Annettes books as I find her thinking clear and compelling.

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