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The Astonishing Power of Storytelling
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The Astonishing Power of Storytelling
Leading, Teaching, and Transforming in a New Way

First Edition
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Communication | Leadership

September 2018 | 240 pages | Corwin

Visit this page to access a Study Companion for the book. 

Master the secret to engaging any audience—from classrooms, to colleagues, to conference rooms

 

Everyone loves a good story. More than entertainment, well-told stories captivate listeners and motivate action. In this guidebook, Robert J. Garmston shows you how to leverage the power of storytelling to engage and persuade students, colleagues, and all other audiences.

 

Written in Garmston’s warm and conversational style and featuring current cognitive neuroscience research, the book includes:

  • Detailed breakdowns of the essential elements all great stories share, and templates for creating yours
  • Tips for supercharging your stories by drawing from personal experience as well as familiar movies, TV shows, and popular media
  • A guide to effective story delivery, including optimized vocal inflection and body language

 

Becoming a better storyteller will make you a more effective communicator and educator. Get started today with The Astonishing Power of Storytelling.



 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author and Illustrator
 
PART I: WHY STORIES WORK
 
1. Why Tell Stories
Communication Suffocation

 
Leading Through Narrative

 
Watch A Story Being Told

 
How Storytelling Began

 
 
2. The Neuroscience of Narrative
Story Worth Watching

 
Stories Arouse Cooperative Instincts

 
$$$ The Million-Dollar Story

 
Desired-State Stories

 
 
PART II: FIND, DESIGN, AND DELIVER YOUR STORY
 
3. Finding Personal Stories
Story Categories

 
Locating Personal Story Material

 
Stories About Your Organization

 
Finding Your Personal Stories

 
 
4. Other Story Sources
Six Story Sources

 
Biographies

 
Films and Television

 
Histories

 
Literature

 
Stories Unique to a Particular Culture

 
Two Stories Worth Watching

 
Metaphor Stories

 
 
5. Why Are Metaphors Important?
How Metaphors Are Processed

 
Right Hemisphere Engagement

 
Four Uses of Metaphor

 
Teach Concepts

 
Generate Ideas

 
Empower

 
Go Beyond Logic

 
Subtexts of Metaphor

 
 
6. Desirable Story Features
Engaging Openings

 
Have a Beginning, Middle, and End

 
Use Present Tense

 
Use Sensory Images

 
Include Tensions

 
Embed Conflict

 
Create Voices

 
Use Memorable Closings

 
Seven Steps to Preparing a New Story

 
 
7. Delivering Your Story
Animation

 
Stand Like You Are Credible

 
Centering

 
Vocal Variety

 
Intentional Movement

 
Story Worth Watching

 
Use Questions to Invite the Audience In

 
 
PART III: CHANGING BEHAVIORS WITH STORY
 
8. Promote Change: Story Structure and Examples
Desired State

 
Resistance

 
Applying the Desired-State Map: Three Examples

 
1. Shouting at a Parent

 
2. Bear in the Cage

 
3. A Strong, Yet Delicate Rose

 
Presume Positive Intentions

 
 
9. Meet Groups Where They Are
Pacing

 
Indirect Suggestions

 
What Listeners Experience

 
 
10. Design for the Intuitive Mind
Invoking Receptivity

 
Beyond Waking Awareness

 
Story Elements for Subliminal Processes

 
Pacing

 
Misdirection

 
Artfully Vague Language

 
Tensions

 
Indirect Suggestions

 
 
11. How Two Stories Changed Behaviors
General Components of a Well-Formed Story

 
Factual Specificity

 
Presentation Congruity

 
Audience Appropriateness

 
Elicits Empathy

 
Contains Submerged Moral or Point of View

 
Creates Internal Representations

 
Bypasses Protective Filters

 
Parallels the Audience’s Situation

 
Lingers on Point of Irresolution

 
Marks Embedded Commands

 
Offers Resolutions

 
 
12. In Conclusion
 
Story Catalog
Organizing the Stories

 
Shifting Perceptions

 
Inviting Learning

 
Inspiring Action

 
Seeking Desired States

 
 
Guide to Story Locations
 
APPENDIX
Worksheet 1: Metaphor Subtexts

 
Worksheet 2: Anatomy of Desired-State Stories

 
Worksheet 3: Constructing a Desired-State Story

 
Poetry Referenced in the Preface

 
 
Storytelling Study Companion
 
References
 
Index

Bob Garmston provides astonishing examples of the power of storytelling. Through storytelling, he that wit and wisdom can be companions on the journey to gain knowledge and insight.

Gary Whitely, Leadership Consultant; Kenai, Alaska
Kenai, Alaska
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