18 Storytelling Books for Entrepreneurs

Stories help your customers understand why what you do is important. This is why storytelling is an essential part of business. It can mean the difference between success and failure.

Here are 18 excellent books about storytelling. Each one has the potential to transform your business.

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18 Storyteller Books for Entrepreneurs

Stories help your customers understand why what you do is important. This is why storytelling is an essential part of business. It can mean the difference between success and failure.

Here are 18 excellent books about storytelling. Each one has the potential to transform your business.

The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human - Jonathan Gottschall

Humans live in landscapes of make-believe. We spin fantasies. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. Now Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. He argues that stories help us navigate life's complex social problems - just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. Storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal and explains how stories can change the world for the better. We know we are master shapers of story. The Storytelling Animal finally reveals how stories shape us.

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures - Dan Roam

Dan Roam, the international bestseller that proves that a simple drawing on a humble napkin can be more powerful than the slickest PowerPoint presentation. Drawing on twenty years of experience and the latest discoveries in vision science, Roam teaches readers how to clarify any problem or sell any idea using a simple set of tools. He reveals that everyone is born with a talent for visual thinking, even those who swear they can't draw. And he shows how thinking with pictures can help you discover and develop new ideas, solve problems in unexpected ways, and dramatically improve your ability to share your insights.

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences - Nancy Duarte

Presentations are meant to inform, inspire, and persuade audiences. So why then do so many audiences leave feeling like they've wasted their time? All too often, presentations don't resonate with the audience and move them to transformative action. Just as the author's first book helped presenters become visual communicators, Resonate helps you make a strong connection with your audience and lead them to purposeful action. The author's approach is simple: building a presentation today is a bit like writing a documentary. Using this approach, you'll convey your content with passion, persuasion, and impact.

The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business - Richard Maxwell, Robe...

According to master storytellers Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickman, storytelling is a lot like running. Everyone knows how to do it, but few of us ever break the four-minute mile. What separates the great runners from the rest? The greats know not only how to hit every stride, but how every muscle fits together in that stride so that no effort is wasted and their goals are achieved. World-class runners know how to run from the inside out. World-class leaders know how to tell a story from the inside out. In The Elements of Persuasion, Maxwell and Dickman teach you how to tell stories too. They show you how storytelling relates to every industry and how anyone can benefit from its power.

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Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story - Jerry Weissman

Thirty million presentations will be given today. Millions will fail. Millions more will be received with yawns. A rare few will establish the most profound connection, in which presenter and audience understand each other perfectly…discover common ground… and, together, decide to act. In this fully updated edition, Jerry Weissman, the world’s #1 presentation consultant, shows how to connect with even the toughest, most high-level audiences...and move them to action! He teaches presenters of all kinds how to dump those PowerPoint templates once and for all and tell compelling stories that focus on what’s in it for the audience. Weissman’s techniques have proven themselves with billions of dollars on the line. Thousands of his elite clients have already mastered them. Now it’s your turn!

Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire - Paul Smith

Storytelling has come of age in the business world. Today, many of the most successful companies use storytelling as a leadership tool. At Nike, all senior executives are designated "corporate storytellers." 3M banned bullet points years ago and replaced them with a process of writing "strategic narratives." Procter & Gamble hired Hollywood directors to teach its executives storytelling techniques. Some forward-thinking business schools have even added storytelling courses to their management curriculum. The reason for this is simple: stories have the ability to engage an audience the way logic and bullet points alone never could. Whether you are trying to communicate a vision, sell an idea, or inspire commitment, storytelling is a powerful business tool that can mean the difference between mediocre results and phenomenal success.

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The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller - John Truby

John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry, and his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood’s most successful films, including Sleepless in Seattle, Scream, and Shrek. The Anatomy of Story is his long-awaited first book, and it shares all his secrets for writing a compelling script. Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, The Anatomy of Story draws on a broad range of philosophy and mythology, offering fresh techniques and insightful anecdotes alongside Truby’s own unique approach to building an effective, multifaceted narrative.

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Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact - Annette Simmons

Story telling is a powerful communications tool that is becoming more and more recognized in the business community. These stories are not the usual speech openers or ice breakers, but stories that will influence others to trust the storyteller and shape decisions and actions that are important to both individuals and organizations. As the author explains, we've been conditioned to believe that business communication should be clear, rational, objective, with no place for emotion or subjective thinking. Not true. The most powerful, persuasive communication has a human element: "Communication can't feel genuine without the distinctive personality of a human being to provide context. You need to show up when you communicate - the real you, not the idealized you.

Story Engineering - Larry Brooks

The vast majority of writers begin the storytelling process with only a partial understanding where to begin. Some labor their entire lives without ever learning that successful stories are as dependent upon good engineering as they are artistry. But the truth is, unless you are master of the form, function and criteria of successful storytelling, sitting down and pounding out a first draft without planning is an ineffective way to begin. Story Engineering starts with the criteria and the architecture of storytelling, the engineering and design of a story - and uses it as the basis for narrative. The greatest potential of any story is found in the way six specific aspects of storytelling combine and empower each other on the page. When rendered artfully, they become a sum in excess of their parts.

The Fortune Cookie Principle: The 20 Keys to a Great Brand Story and Why Your Business Needs One - Bernadette Jiwa

It's not how good you are. It's how well you tell your story. Big corporations might have huge marketing and advertising budgets but you’ve got a story. Your brand story isn't just what you tell people. It's what they believe about you based on the signals your brand sends. 'The Fortune Cookie Principle' is a brand building framework and communication strategy consisting of 20 keys that enable you to begin telling your brand’s story from the inside out. It’s the foundation upon which you can differentiate your brand and make emotional connections with the kind of clients and customers you want to serve. The most successful brands in the world don’t behave like commodities and neither should you. A great brand story will make you stand out, increase brand awareness, create customer loyalty and power profits. Isn't it time to gave your customers a story to tell? 'The Fortune Cookie Principle' will show you how.

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

Imagine knowing what the brain craves from every tale it encounters, what fuels the success of any great story, and what keeps readers transfixed. Wired for Story reveals these cognitive secrets - and it's a game - changer for anyone who has ever set pen to paper. The vast majority of writing advice focuses on "writing well" as if it were the same as telling a great story. This is exactly where many aspiring writers fail--they strive for beautiful metaphors, authentic dialogue, and interesting characters, losing sight of the one thing that every engaging story must do: ignite the brain's hardwired desire to learn what happens next. When writers tap into the evolutionary purpose of story and electrify our curiosity, it triggers a delicious dopamine rush that tells us to pay attention. Without it, even the most perfect prose won't hold anyone's interest.

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The Culture Game: Tools for the Agile Manager - Daniel Mezick

The Culture Game is your tutorial and reference guide for creating lasting business agility in your organization. This is the handbook for managers who want to rapidly develop a culture of learning inside their teams. The Culture Game book provides you with specific tools and techniques to help your teams (and the entire enterprise) rapidly respond to change. The Culture Game describes 16 patterns of team-learning behavior, distilled from Agile software development. This book provides the tools to socialize these ideas throughout your organization. The Culture Game book is your tutorial and reference guide for scaling the Agile mindset from software teams to the wider enterprise.

Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell and Live the Best Stories Will Rule the Future - Jonah Sachs

The story wars are all around us. They are the struggle to be heard in a world of media noise and clamor. Today, most brand messages and mass appeals for causes are drowned out before they even reach us. But a few consistently break through the din, using the only tool that has ever moved minds and changed behavior—great stories. With insights from mythology, advertising history, evolutionary biology, and psychology, viral storyteller and advertising expert Jonah Sachs takes readers into a fascinating world of seemingly insurmountable challenges and enormous opportunity.

Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator - Ryan Holiday

You've seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me. I’m a media manipulator. In a world where blogs control and distort the news, my job is to control blogs—as much as any one person can. Why am I giving away these secrets? Because I’m tired of a world where blogs take indirect bribes, marketers help write the news, reckless journalists spread lies, and no one is accountable for any of it. I’m going to explain exactly how the media really works. What you choose to do with this information is up to you.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On - Jonah Berger

If you said advertising, think again. People don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral? Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. He’s studied why New York Times articles make the paper’s own Most E-mailed List, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In this book, Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to workplace rumors and YouTube videos.

All Marketers Are Liars - Seth Godin

Marketers succeed when they tell us a story that fits our worldview, a story that we intuitively embrace and then share with our friends. Think of the Dyson vacuum cleaner, or Fiji water, or the iPod. But beware: If your stories are inauthentic, you cross the line from fib to fraud. Marketers fail when they are selfish and scurrilous, when they abuse the tools of their trade and make the world worse. That’s a lesson learned the hard way by telemarketers, cigarette companies, and sleazy politicians. But for the rest of us, it’s time to embrace the power of the story. As Godin writes, “Stories make it easier to understand the world. Stories are the only way we know to spread an idea. Marketers didn’t invent storytelling. They just perfected it.”

The Story Factor - Annette Simmons

The new material for this revised edition offers an expanded case study of storytelling in action that focuses on one of Simmons’s success stories. Over one hundred stories drawn from the front lines of business and government, as well as myths, fables, and parables from around the world, illustrate how story can be used to persuade, motivate, and inspire in ways that cold facts, bullet points, and directives can’t. These stories, combined with practical storytelling techniques show anyone how to become a more effective communicator. From “who I am” to “I-know-what-you’re thinking,” Simmons identifies the six stories you need to know and demonstrates how they can be applied. This revised edition offers a guide to using storytelling in specific business circumstances, including corporate reorganizations, layoffs, and diversity issues.

Storytelling: The Indispensable Art of Entrepreneurism - Rudy A. Mazzocchi

Storytelling: The Indispensable Art of Entrepreneurism" shows, with startling clarity and practical know-how, the process by which wealth and other things of exceptional value can emerge into the world literally out of nothing-nothing, that is, but the Art of Storytelling. Storytelling takes you on a journey which reveals how the development, progressive modification and adaptation of your story is the golden thread and foundational core management practice which ties together all the others: building, focusing and motivating your management team, navigating through troubled times or excessive growth, maintaining positive momentum with investors and Boards of Directors and positioning the venture for a potential exit.

Do you know about a great storytelling book that’s not included in this list? I would love to know about it! Share it in the comments below.