The Story Factor: Secrets of Influence from the Art of Storytelling

By Annette Simmons | Go to book overview

Introduction

In 1992, I sat in the cool October breeze, surrounded by 400 others in a tent in Jonesborough, Tennessee, waiting to hear the next storyteller. The group ranged from rich to poor, city types to country folk, professors to sixth-grade graduates. Next to me was a gray-bearded farmer-type in overalls with an "NRA" button on his cap. As an African American man got up to speak, this man turned to his wife and whispered something in an irritated tone that included the word "nigra." I mentally dared him to say it again. Instead he folded his arms and started examining the construction of the tent's roof. The African American storyteller began to tell us his story of a lonely night during the 1960s deep in the heart of Mississippi. He and the six other activists feared the dangers they would face by marching the next morning. He described how they stared into the campfire, as one of them began to sing. The singing calmed their fears. His story was so real we could feel the fear and see the light of the campfire. Then he asked us to sing with him. We did. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" vibrated out of our throats like a big 400-pipe organ. Next to me, the farmer man sang too. I saw a tear roll down his rough red cheek. I had just witnessed the

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The Story Factor: Secrets of Influence from the Art of Storytelling
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Introduction xv
  • 1 - The Six Stories You Need to Know How to Tell 1
  • 2 - What is Story? 27
  • 3 - What Story Can Do That Facts Can't 49
  • 4 - How to Tell a Good Story 83
  • 5 - The Psychology of Story's Influence 105
  • 6 - Sound Bite or Epic? 133
  • 7 - Influencing the Unwilling, Unconcerned, or Unmotivated 157
  • 8 - Storylistening as a Tool of Influence 181
  • 9 - Storyteller Dos and Don'ts 199
  • 10 - The Life of a Storyteller 219
  • Storytelling in Action - What Impact Do You Want to Have on the World? 241
  • Bibliography 243
  • Index 247
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