Let the Story Do the Work: The Art of Storytelling for Business Success
People forget facts, but they never forget a good story. \It sounds so simple: Incorporate a story and people will remember your message. But when you get down to crafting one, there's nothing easy about it. Material for stories surrounds us. Yet few people are skilled at sharing personal anecdotes and even fewer know how to link them to professional goals. Whether you want to stand out in the interview process, add punch to a presentation, or make a compelling case for a new initiative, Let the Story Do the Work shows you how to mine your experience for simple narratives that convey who you are, what you want to achieve, and why others should care. Packed with enlightening examples, the book explains how to find the perfect hook, structure your story...and deliver it at the right time in the right way. You'll discover how to use stories to: Capture attention * Engage your audience * Change minds * Inspire action * Bring facts and data to life * Clarify challenging concepts * Pitch persuasively * Fundraise effectively * And more Never underestimate the power of a great story. Learn to leverage the elements of storytelling-and turn everyday communications into opportunities to connect, gain buy-in, and build lasting relationships.
From the Back Cover Esther Choy isn't just smart and wise and sensible, but she also imbues her work with a spirit of kindness and positivity. The result is a book that's rousing in both its practicality and its encouragement. You should read it immediately.-- Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of the Freakonomics books, and host of Freakonomics Radio As this book shows, simply and powerfully: to get people interested in and convinced by what you are saying, tell a story. But not just any story--you have to tell the right one. What to say and how to say it is what this book is about. Brilliant, entertaining, and powerful. -- Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things , co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group, and Director of Design Lab at UC San Diego Few people understand the power of storytelling; even fewer know how to make it work for business, education, or even just around a campfire. Esther Choy is one of those people. The tools she shares in her book can help anyone become a better storyteller, and meanwhile her book's a lot of fun. Highly recommended. -- Robert Wolcott, Ph.D., co-founder, KIN; Clinical Professor of Innovation, Kellogg School of Management; Managing Partner, Clareo In this book Esther Choy not only provides you with the fundamentals of storytelling, but also gives you very valuable examples for how to convert complex facts into compelling, interesting stories. A must-read book for all communications professionals. -- Andreas Schwab, SVP of Corporate Communications, Siemens Esther Choy's book is a great resource for anyone wanting to be a more effective communicator. -- Roxanne Hori, Associate Dean, NYU Stern School of Business In Let the Story Do the Work , Choy lays out simple, practical tools for strengthening influence and persuasion skills. Whether one is just starting a career, looking to make a change, or taking on higher levels of leadership responsibility, this book offers fresh, actionable insights. In fact, I put some of those insights to good use in an executive presentation just a week after reading it! -- Dave Burdakin, President, JBT AeroTech As a business, brand, or job seeker, being able to stand out from the pack in today's competitive marketplace by articulating a memorable, purpose-driven story is more important than ever. With over a decade of experience helping others leverage the art of storytelling, Esther Choy guides readers through this process in Let the Story Do the Work --empowering them to craft their own narratives in a compelling, persuasive, and authentic way. -- Amy Ward, Emmy(R) Award-winning writer/producer
From the front Cover For millennia, people have used stories to simplify a complex world, make facts and events memorable, and stir action. Today, storytelling has emerged as a strategic skill that every business leader must master. Yet few use storytelling to its full capacity. Stories work beyond telling how a company overcame competitors, or the rags-to-riches background of a founder; these are classic plot devices, and they're frequently layered into corporate messages. But stories can also operate more subtly. By adapting proven story structures and conventions, you can transform forgettable presentations into truly compelling ones, and make lasting impressions with every interaction. Whether you're trying to attract investors to a startup venture, get donors to commit to a non-profit's mission, explain a merger to customers, or stand out at a networking event, Let the Story Do the Work helps you weave storytelling techniques into your communications and strengthen their impact. Part practical workbook, part definitive textbook, it breaks down the art of storytelling into step-by-step guidelines, insights, exercises, and examples drawn from various business environments, including the financial industry and health care. The book helps you: - Dispel any fears that you can't tell great stories - Employ the five principal elements of storytelling, such as the three-act formula, and planting a hook - Craft stories of your own--using five traditional business plots - Connect with an audience by determining their point of view and speaking to their concerns - Cut through a thicket of data to explain what the numbers actually mean and why people should care - Strip away jargon, tame complexity, and make a convincing case no matter how unwieldy the topic - Blend in simple visuals to amplify a presentation's persuasiveness - Mine stories from your life and collect them from others - Tell your personal story in a way that builds credibility and forges relationships Anyone can make a presentation and parade a list of credentials. But nothing resonates and persuades as powerfully as a story. Esther K. Choy is founder and president of Leadership Story Lab, where she coaches managers in story-telling techniques and helps them become more engaging and persuasive. She served as an admissions officer for the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and now teaches in the executive education pro-grams at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, where she also received her MBA.