Monday, February 7, 2011

The Story Factor

The Story Factor: inspiration, influence, & persuasion through the art of storytelling is a book written by Annette Simmons, owner of Group Process Consulting.  The author takes the art of storytelling and applies it to the world of business and communication.  Storytelling is not just a treat for children at bedtime but an effective way to share knowledge with others. 

I first read The Story Factor in 2003.  When I start reading a book, I write the date on the first page and when finished reading, I enter the date on the last page or at the point I stop reading.  It is permissible to stop reading a book if you have lost interest.  I found this book interesting and read it in a couple of weeks. 

In the first chapter, Ms. Simmons provides details and justifications for the six stories that everyone should know.  When meeting individuals or presenting for groups, before people will listen to your message you must first establish your credibility by explaining who you are and why you are appearing before them.  Rather than citing a series of facts, story is a comfortable, familiar medium that draws people to you.  With story people will give you undivided attention.

A theme throughout the book is that facts by themselves remain cold and unappealing.  Although facts are true and generally undeniable, people may resist new factual information if it differs from or challenges their long-held beliefs.  Using stories is effective because it provides a context for facts.  Story gives you the opportunity to tell others about your previous experience in a certain situation. Rather than telling someone to try harder and don't complain, you might tell a story about someone you know who persevered through adversity without complaining. 

In The Story Factor you will also learn the elements of telling a story, ten situations where story is better than fact, and how to influence the unwilling.

If you want to reach others in a more effective way, I encourage you to read The Story Factor.

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