sing stories in your marketing is one of the best ways to improve the number of sales. If you are looking for a simple way to boost sales, then the power of storytelling will do the trick.
When a potential customer finds your marketing, you have to do a great job of telling that story, in such a way that your customers will feel compelled to buy.
Best Books on Storytelling: THE LIST
|2. Building a StoryBrand|
|3. Stories that Stick|
|4. How to Take Smart Notes|
|5. The Science of Storytelling|
|6. Storytelling with Data|
|8. Narrative and Numbers|
|9. Powered by Storytelling|
|10. Sell with a Story|
|11. Lead with a Story|
|12. Your Leadership Story|
|13. Squirrel Inc.|
|14. The Story Factor|
|15. Leader’s Guide to Storytelling|
|18. The Power of Story|
|19. What’s Your Story?|
1. Storynomics | By Robert Mckee and Tom Gerace
Robert McKee’s popular writing workshops have earned him an international reputation. The list of alumni with Academy Awards and Emmy Awards runs off the page. The cornerstone of his program is his singular book, Story, which has defined how we talk about the art of story creation.
Now in Storynomics, McKee partners with digital marketing expert and Skyword CEO Tom Gerace to map a path for brands seeking to navigate the rapid decline of interrupt advertising. After successfully guiding organizations as diverse as Samsung, Marriott International, Philips, Microsoft, Nike, IBM, and Siemens to transform their marketing from an ad-centric to story-centric approach, McKee and Gerace now bring this knowledge to business leaders and entrepreneurs alike.
Drawing from dozens of story-driven strategies and case studies taken from leading B2B and B2C brands, Storynomics demonstrates how original storytelling delivers results that surpass traditional advertising. How will brands and their customers connect in the future? Storynomics provides the answer.
2. Building a StoryBrand | By Donald Miller
Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides listeners with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services. Building a StoryBrand does this by teaching listeners the seven universal story points all humans respond to, the real reason customers make purchases, how to simplify a brand message so people understand it, and how to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media.
Whether you are the marketing director of a multibillion-dollar company, the owner of a small business, a politician running for office, or the lead singer of a rock band, Building a StoryBrand will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.
3. Stories that Stick | By Kindra Hall
A clear framework of ideals and a concise set of actions for you to take complete control of your own story, utilizing the principles behind the world’s most effective business storytelling strategies.
You keep hearing how story is the latest-and-greatest business tool, and that storytelling can do everything—from helping leaders better communicate to motivating sales teams and winning customers away from competitors.
But what stories do you need to tell? And how do you tell them?
In Stories That Stick, Kindra Hall, professional storyteller and nationally-known speaker, reveals the four unique stories you can use to differentiate, captivate, and elevate:
- the Value Story, to convince customers they need what you provide;
- the Founder Story, to persuade investors and customers your organization is worth the investment;
- the Purpose Story, to align and inspire your employees and internal customers; and
- the Customer Story, to allow those who use your product or service to share their authentic experiences with others.
Telling these stories well is a simple, accessible skill anyone can develop. With case studies, company profiles, and anecdotes backed with original research, Hall presents storytelling as the underutilized talent that separates the good from the best in business. She offers specific, actionable steps readers can take to find, craft, and leverage the stories they already have and simply aren’t telling.
Every person, every organization has at least four stories at their disposal. Will you tell yours?
4. How to Take Smart Notes | By Sonke Ahrens
5. The Science of Storytelling | By Will Storr
The compelling, groundbreaking guide to creative writing that reveals how the brain responds to storytelling.
Stories shape who we are. They drive us to act out our dreams and ambitions and mold our beliefs. Storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human. So, how do master storytellers compel us? In The Science of Storytelling, award-winning writer and acclaimed teacher of creative writing Will Storr applies dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to our myths and archetypes to show how we can write better stories, revealing, among other things, how storytellers—and also our brains—create worlds by being attuned to moments of unexpected change.
Will Storr’s superbly chosen examples range from Harry Potter to Jane Austen to Alice Walker, Greek drama to Russian novels to Native American folk tales, King Lear to Breaking Bad to children’s stories. With sections such as “The Dramatic Question,” “Creating a World,” and “Plot, Endings, and Meaning,” as well as a practical, step-by-step appendix dedicated to “The Sacred Flaw Approach,” The Science of Storytelling reveals just what makes stories work, placing it alongside such creative writing classics as John Yorke’s Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey into Story and Lajos Egri’s The Art of Dramatic Writing. Enlightening and empowering, The Science of Storytelling is destined to become an invaluable resource for writers of all stripes, whether novelist, screenwriter, playwright, or writer of creative or traditional nonfiction.
6. Storytelling with Data | By Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
- Understand the importance of context and audience
- Determine the appropriate type of graph for your situation
- Recognize and eliminate the clutter clouding your information
- Direct your audience’s attention to the most important parts of your data
- Think like a designer and utilize concepts of design in data visualization
- Leverage the power of storytelling to help your message resonate with your audience
Together, the lessons in this book will help you turn your data into high impact visual stories that stick with your audience. Rid your world of ineffective graphs, one exploding 3D pie chart at a time. There is a story in your data—Storytelling with Data will give you the skills and power to tell it.
7. StoryTraining | By Hadiya Nuriddin
FAs a trainer, you try to facilitate connections for learners, knowing you must first make connections for yourself. Storytelling is one way to do that. But how do you tell stories? How do you find stories to tell? StoryTraining: Selecting and Shaping Stories That Connect explores how to find your stories and deliver them for learners, ultimately strengthening the storyteller you already are.
The challenge with storytelling, according to author Hadiya Nuriddin, is in finding the right story to tell. This book focuses on that elusive part of storytelling finding the stories lurking everywhere and telling them. Hadiya shows you how by pulling from other disciplines, especially literature and creative writing, to help you select, structure, shape, and tell stories that can facilitate connections between you, your learners, and the material. You’ll learn about the characteristics of stories that are most useful for facilitating learning, and understand what each looks like in practice. StoryTraining also includes helpful checklists as well as the author’s sure-fire tips and diagrams for story timelining and her favorite story building blocks models. .
Given the push to make training more relevant, storytelling ability will continue to be in high demand. If you yearn to find your own stories and to successfully engage with learners and others this is the facilitation book you have been waiting for.
8. Narrative and Numbers | By Aswath Damodaran
How can a company that has never turned a profit have a multibillion dollar valuation? Why do some start-ups attract large investments while others do not? Aswath Damodaran, finance professor and experienced investor, argues that the power of story drives corporate value, adding substance to numbers and persuading even cautious investors to take risks. In business, there are the storytellers who spin compelling narratives and the number-crunchers who construct meaningful models and accounts. Both are essential to success, but only by combining the two, Damodaran argues, can a business deliver and sustain value.
Through a range of case studies, Narrative and Numbers describes how storytellers can better incorporate and narrate numbers and how number-crunchers can calculate more imaginative models that withstand scrutiny. Damodaran considers Uber’s debut and how narrative is key to understanding different valuations. He investigates why Twitter and Facebook were valued in the billions of dollars at their public offerings, and why one (Twitter) has stagnated while the other (Facebook) has grown. Damodaran also looks at more established business models such as Apple and Amazon to demonstrate how a company’s history can both enrich and constrain its narrative. And through Vale, a global Brazil-based mining company, he shows the influence of external narrative, and how country, commodity, and currency can shape a company’s story. Narrative and Numbers reveals the benefits, challenges, and pitfalls of weaving narratives around numbers and how one can best test a story’s plausibility.
9. Powered by Storytelling | By Murray Nossel
What’s your story? It’s a question human beings have been asking each other since we first gathered around a campfire. Millennia later, this human need for storytelling hasn’t changed. We communicate most effectively through our personal stories―and our professional success depends on it.
This groundbreaking guide shows you how to tap into the timeless power of storytelling to transform your business. Here, executive coach, motivational speaker, and psychologist Murray Nossel, PhD, distills decades of experience into a simple method that will enable you to:
•Find the right story for a particular audience and purpose.
•Leverage your own experiences, memories, history, and heritage.
•Create, develop, and craft a universal story that resonates.
•Connect with business associates on a more personal, relatable level.
•Share your corporate vision and goals―and get others on board.
•Resolve workplace conflicts and find workable solutions.
•Boost creativity, spread ideas, and spark true innovation.
•Improve teamwork and collaboration through listening and learning.
•Integrate storytelling into all your communications for ongoing success.
You’ll learn the proven three-step method Murray’s firm, Narativ, uses with its clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits. First, you excavate your personal memories and experiences to generate story ideas that suit your particular needs. Second, you craft and shape these elements into a classic story structure that really connects with audiences. Third, you present your story to your business audience using simple performance techniques that anyone can master. A fundamental element of this method is a focus on listening: the ability to hear yourself, as well as the feedback provided by a given audience―because it is your audience’s listening that shapes your telling.
Everyone needs to communicate well to succeed in business. And everyone has a story to tell. Powered by Storytelling shows you how to tell your story, connect with your audience, and achieve results.
10. Sell with a Story | By Paul Smith
Despite all the high-tech tools available to salespeople today, the most personal method still works best. Through storytelling, a salesperson can explain products or services in ways that resonate, connect people to the mission, and speak to the part of the brain where decisions are made. The well-crafted story can pack the emotional punch to turn routine presentations into productive relationships.In Sell with a Story, author Paul Smith, one of the world’s leading experts in organizational storytelling, focuses his wildly popular and proven formula to the sales arena. He identifies the ingredients of the most effective sales stories and reveals how to:• Select the right story• Craft a compelling and memorable narrative• Incorporate challenge, conflict, and resolution• And moreLearning from model stories, skill-building exercises, and enlightening examples from Microsoft, Costco, Xerox, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hewlett-Packard, and other top companies, readers will soon be able to turn their personal experiences into stories that introduce yourself, build rapport, address objections, add value to the product, bring data to life, create a sense of urgency . . . and most importantly, sell!“If you’re serious about increasing your effectiveness as a communicator and looking to transform your sales results, Sell with a Story is for you.
11. Lead with a Story | By Paul Smith
Whether you’re trying to communicate a vision, sell an idea, or inspire commitment, storytelling is a powerful business tool that can mean the difference between lackluster enthusiasm and a rallying cry. Addressing a wide variety of business challenges, including specific stories to help you overcome twenty-one difficult situations, Lead with a Story gives you theability to engage an audience the way logic and bullet points alone never could. This how-to guidebook shows readers how powerful stories can help define culture and values, engender creativity and innovation, foster collaboration, build relationships, provide coaching and feedback, and lead change. Whether in a speech or a memo, communicated to one person or a thousand, storytelling is an essential skill for today’s leaders. Many highly successful companies use storytelling as a leadership tool. At Nike, all senior executives are designated “corporate storytellers.” 3M banned bullet points years ago and replaced them with a process of writing “strategic narratives.” Procter & Gamble hired Hollywood directors to teach its executives storytelling techniques. Some forward-thinking business schools have even added storytelling courses to their management curriculum. Complete with examples from these and many other high-profile companies, Lead with a Story gives readers the guidance they need to spin a narrative to stunning effect.
12. Your Leadership Story | By Timothy J. Tobin
Stories have power. They move people in a way that facts and figures can’t. Many leaders use stories as a tool, but leadership development expert Tim Tobin says most have no idea what tale their own leadership is telling. He shows how, by thinking of your career as a narrative—with a plot, characters, and an arc—you can increase your awareness of yourself as a leader and become more effective, insightful, and inspiring.
Using story as both a metaphor and a process for self-development, Tobin offers activities and questions that help you better understand your own leadership and how others perceive it. What is the plot of your leadership story—your overall goals and purpose? Who are the main characters and what roles do they play? How have the settings of your story influenced it? What are the conflicts that you need to resolve to move toward the ending you intend?
But you have to share your story to make it an effective leadership tool. Tobin gives detailed advice on framing your message, finding ways to communicate it, and understanding the role others play in furthering that message.
If you don’t tell your leadership story, other people will—and it may not be the story you want told. Taking control of your leadership story enables you to more consciously shape the impact you have in the world. You’ll be better equipped to make decisions, choose actions that tell the story you want to tell, make stronger connections to those you lead, and ensure that you become the kind of leader you want to be.
13. Squirrel Inc. | By Stephen Denning
Take a satirical scamper through organizational life in the midst of changing times, brought to you by master storyteller and former World Bank executive Steve Denning. With wisdom and a healthy dose of wit, Denning introduces a cast of furry characters who together learn the fine art of change through storytelling in their quest to overcome obstacles, generate enthusiasm and teamwork, share knowledge, and ultimately lead their company into a new era of success and significance. Through the stories of Squirrel Inc., readers will learn that the ability to tell the right story at the right time can determine the outcome of any major change effort. In each chapter Denning’s squirrels learn to use storytelling to address leadership challenges:
How to bring about change
How to communicate who you are
How to transmit values
How to foster collaboration
How to stop rumors
How to share knowledge
How to lead your organization into the future
14. The Story Factor | By Annette Simmons
Anyone seeking to influence others must first know their own story, and how to tell it properly. Whether you’re proposing a risky new venture, trying to close a deal, or leading a charge against injustice, you have a story to tell. Tell it well and you will create a shared experience with your listeners that can have profound results.
In this modern classic, Annette Simmons reminds us that the oldest tool of influence is also the most powerful. Fully revised and updated to account for new technology and social media, along with two new chapters on the role of stories in the development of civilization and how to adjust your story to your specific goal, Simmons showcases over a hundred examples of effective storytelling drawn from the front lines of business and government, as well as myths, fables, and parables from around the world. Whether writing a screenplay, or announcing a corporate reorganization, Simmons illustrates how story can be used in ways that cold facts, bullet points, and directives can’t. These stories, combined with practical storytelling techniques, show anyone how to become a more effective communicator and achieve their goals.
15. Leader’s Guide to Storytelling | By Stephen Denning
This revised and updated edition of the best-selling book A Leader’s Guide to Storytelling shows how storytelling is one of the few ways to handle the most important and difficult challenges of leadership: sparking action, getting people to work together, and leading people into the future. Using myriad illustrative examples and filled with how-to techniques, this book clearly explains how you can learn to tell the right story at the right time.
- Stephen Denning has won awards from Financial Times, The Innovation Book Club, and 800-CEO-READ
- The book on leadership storytelling shows how successful leaders use stories to get their ideas across and spark enduring enthusiasm for change
- Stephen Denning offers a hands-on guide to unleash the power of the business narrative.
16. Resonate | By Nancy Duarte
Presentations are meant to inform, inspire, and persuade audiences. So why then do so many audiences leave feeling like they’ve wasted their time? All too often, presentations don’t resonate with the audience and move them to transformative action.
Just as the author’s first book helped presenters become visual communicators, Resonate helps you make a strong connection with your audience and lead them to purposeful action. The author’s approach is simple: building a presentation today is a bit like writing a documentary. Using this approach, you’ll convey your content with passion, persuasion, and impact.
- Author has a proven track record, including having created the slides in Al Gore’s Oscar winning An Inconvenient Truth
- Focuses on content development methodologies that are not only fundamental but will move people to action
- Upends the usual paradigm by making the audience the hero and the presenter the mentor
- Shows how to use story techniques of conflict and resolution
Presentations don’t have to be boring ordeals. You can make them fun, exciting, and full of meaning. Leave your audiences energized and ready to take action with Resonate.
17. StoryBranding | By Jim Signorelli
When preparing for a client meeting, he had an epiphany. Rather than doing a traditional brief for the client, identifying its brand’s unique selling proposition, he wrote a story: a first-person narrative told from the prospective customer’s point of view. Customers have problems they want to be solved, and their stories provide clues to understanding how the brand can solve them. Signorelli compares the “StoryBranding” process, which helps brands understand themselves, to the way stories teach us about the people in them.
VERDICT Since advertising is, among other things, about building and nurturing relationships between the brand and the customer, the timeless tradition of storytelling is a natural approach to facilitate the process.
Signorelli skillfully coaches his readers through understanding a brand’s core values and aligning them to customers’ needs. While branding and advertising books are a dime a dozen, the author’s original approach and competent storytelling skills serve his topic well. -Carol Elsen, (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC,
“All marketers should read Jim’s book, especially those who haven’t embraced storytelling. It not only drives home the efficacy of storytelling but also offers a roadmap for leveraging this tool to uniquely communicate the human essence of a brand. Thought provoking and useful book.”–Dennis Dunlap, Former CEO, American Marketing Association
Many books talk about the power of storytelling as a persuasion device, but this is not one of them. Jim believes it’s more important to become a story than to tell one. And he shows how it can be done for all brands, big or small, for any product or service.StoryBranding 2.0StoryBranding is applicable to personal branding as well. “If you have a birth certificate, you are a brand,” he says. An easy, entertaining, and educational read, this revolutionary book on branding has been called “a must read” by critics and marketers across the globe. (Gold Medal Non-Fiction Award from Stephanie Chandler, who heads the Non-Fiction Writers Association.
18. The Power of Story | By Jim Loehr
In his groundbreaking new book, Dr. Jim Loehr, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Power of Full Engagement, examines the way we tell stories about ourselves to ourselves — and, most important, the way we can change those stories to transform our business and personal lives.
“Your story is your life,” says Loehr. As human beings, we continually tell ourselves stories — of success or failure; of power or victimhood; stories that endure for an hour, or a day, or an entire lifetime. We have stories about our work, our families and relationships, our health; about what we want and what we’re capable of achieving. Yet, while our stories profoundly affect how others see us and we see ourselves, too few of us even recognize that we’re telling stories, or what they are, or that we can change them — and, in turn, transform our very destinies.
Telling ourselves stories provides structure and direction as we navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and helps us interpret our goals and skills. Stories make sense of chaos; they organize our many divergent experiences into a coherent thread; they shape our entire reality. And far too many of our stories, says Loehr, are dysfunctional, in need of serious editing. First, he asks you to answer the question, “In which areas of my life is it clear that I cannot achieve my goals with the story I’ve got?” He then shows you how to create new, reality-based stories that inspire you to action, and take you where you want to go both in your work and personal life.
For decades, at the Human Performance Institute, Loehr has been examining the power of story to increase engagement and productivity, and Fortune 500 companies have paid millions to send employees to his program, in which he applies the principles and methods that he now offers in this book. Global business leaders, world-class athletes, military special forces, and thousands of individuals from every walk of life have sought out and benefited from his life-altering insight and expertise.
Our capacity to tell stories is one of our profoundest gifts. Loehr’s approach to creating deeply engaging stories will give you the tools to wield the power of storytelling and forever change your business and personal life.
19. What’s Your Story? | By Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker
In this time of global reckoning, revolution, and reinvention, authors Rebecca Walker and Lily Diamond invite you to excavate the narratives that have shaped your life and write a new, fulfilling story for the future.
Consisting of 150+ questions―designed to be answered in as little as five minutes or as long as a lifetime― What’s Your Story?: A Journal for Everyday Evolution is essential for anyone ready to begin living their most authentic, creative, and meaningful life.
• Explore by area of life: Each chapter invites you to explore a different part of life as you move through your day―from waking up and encountering your mind, to being in relationship with your body, other people, nature, and technology, to reflecting on community, identity, and mortality.
• Explore by theme: Five themes, color-coded throughout each chapter, allow you to explore a particular focus from beginning to end: creativity and self-expression; self-care; activism; spirituality; and grief, loss, and the work of healing.
“Finding the voice to know, write, and speak your story can mean the difference between an existence of repressed silence and a life of joyful fulfillment,” write the authors. “Our stories have the power to limit or liberate us.”
Final Thoughts on the Best Books on Storytelling
No matter what you are selling, people have a natural affinity to the stories that sell. Just look at sales of a big-name brand like Coca-Cola. When you tell stories, you build that natural affinity and people will naturally want to buy your products.
Do you see a book that you think should be on the list? Let us know your feedback here.