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The Story Factor

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The Story Factor

Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling

Basic Books,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Don`t recite facts – use narrative. Tell stories to persuade, influence, enlighten and connect with people`s emotions.

Editorial Rating



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.


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...

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.

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    M. M. 6 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. 6 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. 6 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.