Stories That Stick
Stories That Stick summary

Stories That Stick

Rating: 9/10

Author: Kindra Hall Read The Original

High-Level Thoughts

A remarkable book that truly sold me on the power of storytelling. Storytelling is the key to sticking out and being remembered in the attention economy where every company and their mom is trying to tell you something. I learned not only the format and techniques for effective storytelling but also how to coax them from other people. If your an entrepreneur, marketer, or just want to get better at conveying memorable messages to people then I highly recommend this book.

Stories That Stick Summary

4 Components That Make Up a Good Story

  • 1) Identifiable Characters
  • 2) Authentic Emotion
  • 3) A Significant Moment
  • 4) Specific Details

Companies whose cultures wither instead of thrive because their leaders can’t articulate the stories of why they do what they do.

PART ONE The Irresistible Power of Storytelling

  • More importantly, those who bridge the gaps best, win. If you can sell better, pitch better, recruit better, build better, create better, connect better—you win.
  • It turns out 95 percent of gum decisions are made unconsciously,
  • the effects are long-lasting.6 Have you ever left a movie theater and felt like the story followed you home and stayed with you for a while?
  • The fact that we homo sapiens are the evolutionary winners in the race to still exist is because of our ability to tell each other stories. Our ability to tell stories is what enabled us to “not merely imagine things, but to do so collectively.” These are the words of Yuval Noah Harari
  • From now on, let’s try thinking of them as normal, explosion, and new normal.

PART TWO The Four Essential Stories The Tales Every Business Needs to Tell

  • they couldn’t overcome basic human nature—the nature that says the devil you know is better than the savior you don’t.
  • This is the first gap in business: the value gap. The gap between the problem and the value of the solution. The gap between the product and the value to the customer.
  • Simply put, System 1 is characterized by cognitive ease while System 2 involves cognitive strain.
  • how important it is that brands, companies, and businesspeople in general keep their customers in the System 1 space.
  • Lists are bait for System 2. Bullet points are bait for System 2. Price comparisons are bait for System 2. Features are bait for System 2. Benefits are bait for System
  • The value of a cloud-based technology solution is so much more than the monthly subscription fee. The value isn’t limited to the hours the technology can save. The value of a cloud-based technology system, like what Workiva offers, is also measured in what the people do with the hours they save: compete in triathlons, attend kids’ T-ball games, fulfill dreams.
  • The formula is really quite simple. Start with a story. Draw them in, captivate them, get buy-in from System 1 so they’ve already said yes. Then insert the information. Give the facts, appeal to logic, put as much data in there as will make you comfortable. But then come back to the story. Wrap the whole thing up with the new normal. Much like a spoonful of sugar, as long as the message begins and ends with the story, it’ll go down nice and easy.

1.  Normal

  • What is your customers’ problem?
  • What pain are they experiencing?
  • How do they feel?
  • How is it impacting their life? Their business?
  • What’s keeping them awake at night?

2.  Explosion

  • How does your product/service solve the pain or problem?
  • How does your product/service make their life easier?
  • What does the experience of using your product/service feel like for the customers?
  • How is using your product/service different?

3.  New Normal

  • How is life different after?
  • What is enhanced or improved?
  • How do the customers feel?
  • What pain points have vanished?

The greatest mistake of marketing is to put what you offer at the center of everything instead of the person you offer it to.

Aligning what can eventually amount to a small army of people and inspiring them to take action every day is a daunting but critical task, one that leaders would be wise to turn to storytelling for.

“We know that people are substantially more motivated by their organization’s transcendent purpose (how it improves lives) than by its transactional purpose (how it sells goods and services).”

Researcher, author, and famed vulnerability expert Brené Brown says, “Vulnerability is the absolute heartbeat of innovation and creativity. There can be zero innovation without vulnerability.”

The more the child knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives and the higher their self-esteem.

When you tell someone your product is great, that’s called marketing. When another customer tells them, it’s called a referral,

  • 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • Positive reviews make 73 percent of consumers trust a local business more.
  • 49 percent of consumers need to see at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business.

Consumers read an average of seven reviews before trusting a business.

The devil may be in the details, but so is the delight and so is the credibility.

Julia’s email specifically asks what I was using before I tried Native and how things are now that I’ve been using it for a few days. Notice anything? They’re giving me a framework to deliver a story to them. That framework, lo and behold, just happens to match up perfectly with our framework.

PART THREE Create Your Story Finding, Crafting, and Telling Your Story

  • It isn’t a lack of stories that keeps you from being able to find yours but rather the ineffective questions we use to get them. I asked my grandma a bad question. Getting better stories, or stories in the first place requires asking better questions.
  • So instead of saying, “Grandpa, tell me about World War II,” I focused my question on a noun. “Grandpa,” I asked, “where were you stationed in World War II?” He said Perth, Australia. “Grandpa,” I said, “Tell me about Perth, Australia.” It was as if I had said the secret word that opened a hidden cave of stories.
  • That thirty-second call cost three hundred dollars. Innovation is amazing, but it can also be painful.
  • If you’re struggling to find your stories, shift your thoughts to the firsts in your life.
  • When we’re asked a question, often our first instinct is to revert to answering with logic and, as a result, immediately get tangled up with System 2. If you know the most common questions people ask about your product or business ahead of time, though, you can find stories that answer them more effectively than a list of logical bullet points and help keep your customers in that far more desirable System 1 space.
  • Choose a value story if you want more effective sales and marketing.
  • Choose a founder story if you want to increase confidence and differentiate.
  • Choose a purpose story if you want to align and engage your team.
  • Choose a customer story if you want better sales, marketing, and credibility.
  • 1.  Who are you telling this story to?
  • 2.  What do you want them to think, feel, know, or do?
  • At its core, the art of choosing a story is all about knowing where the audience and your objective meet. Look through the moments you’ve collected, and choose a story that sits in that particular intersection and you’re golden.
  • Telling a story about you waterskiing? Here’s a picture. And while that seems like the way to go, it creates a cognitive bypass and, in doing so, violates the power of the co-creative process. Give them the image and they won’t create it for themselves. And now you’ve lost your cognitive edge.
  • My son asks for stories as a way to make sense of things that have happened or might happen to him. It isn’t just something we do or need. Stories are what we are.
  • In fact, a 2016 study by some researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and SUNY Buffalo found that people who are good at storytelling are also more attractive. Results from this study specifically concluded that women find men who are good storytellers to be more attractive and better long-term partners. The researchers surmised this was because “storytelling ability reflects a man’s ability to gain resources. Good storytellers may be more likely to influence others or to gain positions of authority in society.”

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