Summary of The Story Factor

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Annette Simmons is thoroughly convincing in her assertion that the best way to influence and inspire others is to tell stories. Unfortunately, she is a bit heavy-handed on the "why" of storytelling, which she explains in depth in every chapter, and a shade light regarding "how" to accomplish her lofty goals. Simmons explains that telling people an engaging story is far more persuasive than reciting facts and figures, or showing a PowerPoint presentation. To illustrate her position, Simmons uses good stories and parables as examples. She describes the six categories of stories you can use to connect with and influence people, and she offers suggestions on how to become a prolific, entertaining storyteller. This is not a typical "how-to" book with lists of things to do, but it is instructive and useful. getAbstract recommends it to anyone who is interested in the art of persuasion or who loves a good yarn.

About the Author

Annette Simmons is the founder of a consulting company that specializes in helping organizations increase their revenues through collaborative behavior. She is a public speaker and the author of Territorial Games and A Safe Place for Dangerous Truths.



Kinds of Stories

People receive more information than they want, use or can process. To truly influence someone, don’t provide excess facts and data. Instead, tell them a story. Stories inspire faith and give your listeners an opportunity to reach the same conclusion that you have drawn for them.

Use stories from these six general categories to influence others:

  1. "Who I am stories" – Establish identity and trust - Until other people understand your identity and purpose, they can’t trust you. But, before you can influence them, you must establish trust. Your listeners’ ability to "trust in ’who you are’ becomes the connection that serves as a conduit for your message." Choose a story that reveals what you want to explain about yourself. This can be a story from your personal experience (the best choice) or a fable, parable or anecdote. Many leaders connect with other people by telling illuminating stories that expose their personal flaws. This kind of self-disclosure often breeds trust, but be selective about what you reveal and how people may regard you once they hear your story. For example, one new manager told his staff about being reprimanded...

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    M. M. 2 years ago
    Storytelling is more than a tool, is an art mixed with your own passion to be the most persuasive you can be. Great content! It’s amazing how you can impact the audience emotions and be effective. I’m already using it ?? #getMotivated #getAbstract
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    G. O. 2 years ago
    storytelling was part of my growing up, folklores &tales by moonlight were examples that inspired me. I'v adopted same in connecting wt friends &children. Awesome that Annette has made it even simpler with the “kinds of stories” nuggets #getMotivated #readingchallenge #getabstract
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    W. N. 2 years ago
    One of the key skills for leaders, being able to engage an audience through storytelling enables connection at a human level. A very useful summary.
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    A. A. 2 years ago
    Nice summary. Helps understanding the message of the book in short time and so it saves time. Easy to browse anywhere while on the way !!
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    A. 2 years ago
    Enjoyed the summary very much. This is just what I needed for an upcoming event with global colleagues. I will put many of the ideas and suggestions to good use.
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    N. C. 2 years ago
    This is good, but for the first time called my attention to how we can miss relevant details from relying on these summaries rather than the original works - the quote “The secrets of storytelling and influence reside in the creative side of you that understands the nebulous truths about kittens, stories and influence.” just left me wondering what the reference to kittens was about!
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      Erica Rauzin 2 years ago
      At getAbstract, we hope that good summaries lead people to good books, so maybe that will happen here. You're right about the mysterious kitten in that quote, so we've add an additional, somewhat shortened companion quote from the book to explain that metaphor more completely: “Explaining storytelling is like explaining a kitten. We all have memories of kittens [but] half a kitten isn’t really a kitten. Trying to break [a memory] down into…parts and priorities destroys it.” Thanks for being such an observant reader. E. Rauzin, senior managing editor, getAbstract
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    J. J. 2 years ago
    This sounds like a good story. I hoop it will encourage poeple to fight the dragon and free the light of human thoughts