Resources for storytelling & public speaking



The Storytelling Animal: How Storytelling Make Us Human

Jonathan Gottschall; Mariner Books; 1 edition (April 23, 2013)

“Story - whether delivered through films, books, or video games - teaches us facts about the world; influences our moral logic and marks us with fears, hopes, and anxieties that alter our behavior, perhaps even our personalities.”


The Storyteller’s Secret

Carmine Gallo; St. Martin's Press (February 23, 2016)

“A thought triggers the same regions of the brain that would be activated if you were actually experienceing the event in real life.”


The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Joseph Campbell; New World Library; 3. edition (28 July 2008)

“It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward, in counteraction to those that tend to tie it back.” 


How The Mind Works

Stephen Pinker; W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue edition (June 22, 2009)

“Stories equip us with a mental file of dilemmas we might one day dace, along with workable solutions.”


Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence

Lisa Cron; Ten Speed Press; 40065th edition (July 10, 2012)

Story is about change, which results only from unavoidable conflict.

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Story Proof - the science behind the startling power of story

Kendall Haven; Libraries Unlimited Publisher; 2007.

it is the story characters that make it relevant, meaningful, and compelling (worth remembering) to readers and listeners. We don’t understand events, actions, narratives, without viewing them from the perspective of a character.

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Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Chip Heath, Dan Heath; Random House; 1st edition (January 2, 2007)

Six principles of successful ideas…: a Simple Unexpected Concrete Credentialed Emotional Story.

And that’s the great thing about the world of ideas - any of us, with the right insight and the right message, can make an idea stick.


TED Talks: The official TED guide to public speaking: Tips and tricks for giving unforgettable speeches and presentations

Chris Anderson; Nicholas Brealey Publishing (3 May 2016)

Your number-one mission as a speaker is to take something that matters deeply to you and to rebuild it inside the minds of your listeners. We’ll call that something an idea. A mental construct that they can hold on to, walk away with, value, and in some sense be changed by.


What Great Salespeople Do - The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story

Michael Bosworth and Ben Zoldan; McGraw-Hill Publisher; 2012.

Selling isn’t just a matter of getting buyers to purchase goods and services. On a more fundamental level, it’s about influencing people to change- influencing them to believe what you believe. This isn’t just what great salespeople do; it’s also what effective leaders, teachers, politicians, coaches, and lawyers do.


Thank You for Arguing, Third Edition: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion

Jay Heinrichs; Three Rivers Press; 3 edition (4 July 2017)

Rhetoric Tools

Set your goals and the argument’s tense.

Think of whether you want to emphasize character, logic, or emotion.

Make sure the time and the medium are ripe for persuasion.


Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

Ann Handley; Wiley; 1 edition (September 15, 2014)

What matters … is gelling a true story well.

The essence of what makes writers great … is a relentless empathy for your reader or audience.


Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Simon Sinek; Portfolio; Reprint edition (27 Dec 2011)

Every single organization on the planet, even our own careers, function on three levels:

1. What we do

2. How we do it, and

3. Why we do it.

When those three pieces are aligned, it gives us a filter through which to make decisions. It provides a foundation for innovation and for building trust. When all three pieces are in balance, others will say, with absolute clarity and certainty, “We know who you are,” “We know what you stand for.” This simple idea is The Golden Circle.

To Sell Is Human

Daniel H. Pink; Riverhead Books, Penguin Publisher; 2012.

The Tipping Point - How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Malcolm Gladwell; Random House Publisher; 2007

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Joseph Campbell; New World Library Publisher; Third edition July 28, 2008

The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling; Annette Simmons; Basic Books Publisher; Second revised edition 2006


Paul Zak, neuroeconomist

“A compelling story with an emotional trigger alters our brain chemistry, making us more trsuting, understanding, and open to ideas.”


Photo courtesy of Joshua Earle