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Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact Hardcover – May 16, 2007

48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"...a worthwhile guide[…]storytelling is touted as a secret to effective leadership yet most of us are uncertain where to start." --The Globe and Mail

Once upon a time, story was banished from business. Then Annette Simmons came along to show us the error of our ways. This book is a smart, practical guide to tapping the power of narrative to improve your business and your life." --Daniel H. Pink, author of A WHOLE NEW MIND

"…reading it conveys the invaluable message that powerful presentations create, whether to the board chair, PTA or a class of high school juniors, when told through a good story." --The School Administrator

"It is superb and will be one of my best of the year." --The CEO Refresher

"Simmons is an enjoyable communicator, whether she is describing parts of the human brain or sharing an embarrassing moment…offers…professionals…help finding their voice or who need to create a voice for their organizations." --Technical Communiation

“…straightforward and easy to read…offers a profound insight into why presentations succeed or fail and a very concrete approach to generating more effective presentations…strongly recommend this book.” --Business Process Trends

“…conveys the invaluable message that powerful presentations create…” --The School Administrator

“…strongly recommend this book to adult educators of all types. Although it targets trainers, the concepts and techniques…can be applied in many settings.” – Adult Learning Magazine

Book Description

Most people have been conditioned to believe that business communication must be clear, rational, and objective, with no place for emotion or subjective thinking. Yet the most powerful, persuasive communication has a human element...often delivered simply and personally through the telling of stories.

This book shows readers how to use personal stories to get their ideas across and create meaningful connections between themselves and their audience. Moving beyond the usual speech-openers or ice-breakers, the book gives readers a process for finding, developing, and using their own stories, including how to:

* gain people's trust * use six different kinds of stories * shift from everyday thinking into story thinking * help shape group decisions and actions.

Filled with enlightening anecdotes, this practical guide gives readers the tools they need to persuade, inspire, and influence others through the power of story.


CEO Refresher The Best Books of 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM; 1 edition (May 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814409148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814409145
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Annette Simmons is a vibrant keynote speaker, consultant and author of four books: The Story Factor named as one of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time, Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins , A Safe Place for Dangerous Truth (AMACOM, 1998), and Territorial Games: Understanding and Ending Turf Wars at Work.

Annette started with a business degree from Louisiana State University in 1983, spent ten years in Australia in international business, attained a M.Ed. from NC State in 1994 and started Group Process Consulting in 1996. Annette is surprisingly honest, ferrets out hidden opportunities, joyfully takes risks and tells a good story.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am among those who have praised Annette Simons' previously published The Story Factor and are thus delighted that she has written this book in which she develops in much greater depth many of the same core concepts of the earlier work, one in which she rigorously examines the basic components of effective storytelling when explaining what a story is and what it can do that facts alone cannot. She suggests how to tell "a good story," in process explaining the psychology of an effective story's influence. She offers excellent advice on how to influence the unwilling, the unconcerned, and the unmotivated. Simmons also devotes an entire chapter to "Storylistening as a Tool of Influence," then in the next chapter identifies a number of storyteller Dos and Don'ts. Simmons concludes her book with insights that have their greatest value only if considered within the context created for each in previous chapters.

In this volume, she explains "how to use your own stories to communicate with power impact" and I commend her on the informal, almost conversational tone she establishes and then sustains throughout her narrative. Her focus is on what each of her readers can contribute to all manner of communications with others. Hence the effectiveness of her direct, one-on-one rapport with those for whom she wrote this lively and entertaining as well as informative book.

Appropriately, she shares a number of "stories" from her own life and career when illustrating various key points. For example, in Chapter10, she recalls a situation in which she was meeting with a group of international women in Europe only 10% of whom were from the U.S. When explaining how to be a more effective leader, she used a "I know what you are thinking story" to illustrate her key points.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Terry MacDonald on January 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I just reviewed The Story Factor, and now I will share with you why Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins is another fabulous guide to building strong leadership through stories. The Story Factor told us the "what" and "why." This book covers that briefly in Part One and goes on in Part Two to tell us "how" and "where." It's a real challenge to find the stories worth sharing and tell them at the right time. Simmons shares from experience the six types of stories and provides a series of interactive exercises to help you! find and develop these stories.

As a fairly right-brain thinker already, I find her book affirming that my instincts in presenting ideas to others are on track. I do think this book will open a whole new world of ideas of people who are more linear and fact-based. I believe that stories are amazing conduits of information that channel deeply into the listener - when they are true at heart. It's a common message when you read through motivational books that you have to have faith in yourself, in your message, and in the moment. A book that really drove that home to me was "Success Secrets of the Motivational Superstars: America's Greatest Speakers Reveal Their Secrets."

So, why should you read a second book by Annette Simmons? Because she is telling the story of stories and making a serious impact on how people communicate today. Read about it today!
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Rock In My Shoe on September 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that anyone who has suffered through one too many mind-numbing business presentations will most certainly appreciate. Storytelling is the antidote to death by Powerpoint. Let's face it, no one ever remembers all the data and information served up in those presentations--or cares, even. What people really want to know is, "What does all this mean? How does this affect ME?" In other words, what's the story behind the data?

As Annette Simmons says in Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins, experience is the best teacher--but story is the second best teacher. A story is a re-lived experience. And because people remember what they experience, they remember stories.

Business presentations are not the only place stories can be used to communicate clearly. There's the performance review, the job interview, the sales pitch, the consultation, the water cooler gossip and, of course, the ubiquitous meetings. And a story doesn't have to be a long-winded tale or narrative. It can be as simple as a ten-second analogy or example. But there is an art to picking the right story for the right moment, and the trick is to learn how to "think in story." This is what Ms. Simmons shows us how to do in her wonderful book.

The previous reviewer provides excellent details about the contents of the book, so I won't go into that here--the six types of stories and the places you go to find those stories. What I would like to add is that--much like How To Win Friends and Influence People or The Power of Positive Thinking--those who read this book and consciously apply it's principles will find their lives changed. I know it has changed mine. I'm thinking in story now.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Thomas R. Clifford on November 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"This book is actually designed to help you pay more attention to the stories you tell."

Well said, Annette! (from page 22.)


Are you paying attention to what stories are you telling?

Are you paying attention to what stories your company is telling?

As a filmmaker, I am passionate about telling stories from remarkable organizations. Personal stories is the DNA for corporate videos; it's the lifeblood.

We've all seen boring videos from organizations. Have you ever considered why they are boring?

Corporate videos are often boring because they lack a personal story with any emotion.

If you are looking to put emotion back into your life, your work or your presentations, Annette Simmons's new book is a fresh look on an ancient tool.

This new book on storytelling is remarkable for three reasons:

1. It's simple but extremely effective.
Annette's style and approach creates opportunities for anyone to begin re-framing their lives, their work and their future with new stories to tell.

2. It's thought-provoking.
If you haven't given too much thought as to who you are and why you are here, Annette will guide you step-by-step to discovering your personal story.

3. It works. Period.
Our brains are hard-wired for stories so why not consciously learn how to discover, tell and share stories that matter? Annette breaks the code for storytelling so you can implement the results right away.

I have shared "Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins" in meetings and the energy of the conversation instantly changes...everyone wants to chime in and share a story! Now, everyone has a new "frame" in which to proceed.

It's no wonder, then, it has become one of my favorite storytelling references.

Thanks, Annette, for a truly inspiring piece of work!
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