Business Storytelling For Dummies

“Lori … your book is absolutely packed with ‘I can use that right NOW’ techniques. It really is THE go-to resource on how to craft strategic stories that produce an ROI for all involved. Well done!”
– Sam Horn is the Intrigue Expert, a world-renowned author, keynote speaker, communications strategist, and executive coach

When’s the last time someone handed you a check for $75,000 after hearing your story?

In the most comprehensive how-to book to hit the market, Business Storytelling for Dummies, authors Karen Dietz, PhD and Lori L. Silverman provide an easy to use, step-by-step guide to finding, listening to, capturing, and crafting compelling stories from customers, consumers, front-line staff, leaders, vendors, and funders. You’ll also get practical tips and advice on how to tell stories that hit the mark every time, whether orally or through social media. Drawing on the author’s combined 50+ years of experience, the latest research in the field, and real-life examples from more than 50 organizations across the world, Business Storytelling for Dummies is by far the most current resource in the field.

This isn’t your typical Dummies book. There are five bonus chapters:

  1. It’s the first resource to demonstrate how to turn statistics and data-rich content into convincing stories.
  2. Chapter 13 includes specific steps and stories needed to get funders and stakeholders to open their wallets and commit to your cause, program, or project.
  3. Imagine twenty pages of tips on melding story into marketing campaigns and pulling stories out of consumers that effectively position your organization’s products and services.
  4. Chapter 15 shows you how to win new customers, solidify current buyers, and minimize the time between pitch and purchase by using storied approaches throughout the sales cycle.
  5. Have a change to implement? Chapter 16 covers using stories in a change initiative to heighten commitment, strengthen a vision, mitigate risks, obtain resources, overcome obstacles, and get things done.

Here is your roadmap to the big, sprawling territory that is business storytelling
David. B. Hutchens

Organizational storytelling is a field that has a lot of self-appointed experts, so one of the first things that makes this book exciting is that the authors both have such distinguished histories in the field. (Google their names. You’ll find they both have a deep portfolio of work to discover.) As someone who has read a lot of material on the topic of org narrative, I can tell you that Dietz and Silverman have provided the best overview I have seen. There are a lot of confusing ideas out there clouding the fast-growing body of knowledge (even around the most basic questions, such as “what is a story?”), and the authors are able to cut through all of that with tremendous clarity and credibility.
  Regarding the “what is a story?” issue, the authors do something kind of brilliant there. Early in the book, they provide a definition that does NOT go down the well-traveled path of listing standard story elements (like plot, conflict, protagonist, etc.) Instead, they define story in terms of the outcome it has on the audience. A counter-intuitive idea, but the more I reflect on it the more compelling I find it.
  There are so many great ideas here. The chapter on data storytelling is smart; and it would not have occurred to me to have a full chapter on how to make a story shorter — or longer — but there it is in Chapter 9, and it was full of wisdom. Chapter 12 is a great summary on how to help storytelling become integrated in your organization’s culture. There are probably Harvard Business Review articles somewhere that deal with topics like these in depth, but I haven’t seen a single volume that lays them all out to provide this kind of big-picture awareness. The book is FULL of examples. Lots of written stories, with “before” and “after” presentations showing how the authors’ principles were applied. It is very helpful and engaging.
  I’ve never read a “For Dummies” book before, but with this one I appreciate the format. There are a lot of checklists, and margin icons indicating where the text features “real like examples” or “pitfalls to avoid” and so on. Those devices really did help to keep the presentation crisp and searchable. Which I suppose is one reason the Dummies brand has been such a phenomenon.
  If you are new to the world of business storytelling, you can be confident that this book will orient you in a way that is well-validated, tested, and based on the authors’ considerable research and experience. Highly recommended.

Are you and your organization fully utilizing business storytelling to move people to action — to get funding, increase sales, accelerate change, and get your messaging to stick? If you’re not, you won’t stand out in a crowded marketplace that now knows that facts merely tell while stories truly sell and motivate.

Get a Master Black Belt in business storytelling with this new Dummies book.

“I sat down at lunch and started reading and instantly knew this book was the book I’ve been looking for! There’s so much juicy stuff in it I hardly know where to start. So I’ll take it step by step and allow the wisdom to seep in!
– Shannon Presson, coach, healer, passionate storyteller, and speaker



Although I have been speaking professional for a while, and know about the importance of stories, I have still learned many new things. I think this book is a huge wealth of knowledge. I loved the way it is written. Easy to understand and very practical tools that anyone can put into practice right away. I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to improve their speaking skills, or wants to use stories in a better way to motivate and inspire others, whether it is in a professional seating or just giving a better speech at a wedding.

At last, a practical place to start for using storytelling in business
Patti J. Christensen

This is a hot topic that has been in the buzz for a while, "branding", selling your story, telling a compelling story to your funders. All of these really sound good, but what does it really look like and where in the world could a regular person start? Karen Dietz and Lori Silverman answer that in this book. It is packed full of highly practical, easily applied examples, and step-by-step answers to why you should care about stories and "storytelling" in your business or organization.
  Reading through the book, you get the benefit from true life stories gathered up by these very experienced business women who understand that busy people don't want a lot of theory, but want to know how to make things better in their own business or organization.
  Why read this book? "Need to get your point across? Get staff on board with change? Foster collaboration? Increase sales? Strengthen employee engagement? Build Customer loyalty? Drive innovation and creatively? Capture best practices? Align people around a goal? Grow your business?" Those indeed are the tasks of busy people in today's world, in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. This book gives you a new set of tools (and helps you identify man things that you are already doing... but you didn't know it was "storytelling".)
  Don't be put off by the "Dummies". This is really business storytelling for smart people who want to work even smarter.
  Not only is the book itself filled with great, useful information, there are also many additional suggested weblinks to go deeper if something catches your attention.

Makes Your Stories So Much More Effective

I found that storytelling is an effective technique for influencing people, but I was never that good at it before reading this book.. Business Storytelling for Dummies defines the science of storytelling. What are the elements of a business story, what is critical to include and what is non-essential and better to leave out, how to embellish the characters so listeners will become emotionally involved in the story, what are the different ways you can tell a story. This book has really helped me to become a better storyteller.

Pragmatism meets Allegory
Tim J Randall

Storytelling is what each of us does daily: at work, leisure time, out with business associates, family, or friends. The impact and efficacy of the narrative told, in part determines our success.
  Written by two experts in organizational strategy and business development; Business Storytelling not only describes why anecdotes are so critical in the world of commerce today, but how they can shape relationships, garner client and management trust, develop operational synergies, and create stakeholder value.
  Each chapter provides a fresh flavor on the components of weaving a compelling account to energize your audience. Of its many compelling advantages the work offers: the ease of access to information, its delineated: "Tips, Check It Out, and Remember, and the perspicuity in which Lori and Karen provide imagery and connectivity to business scenarios.
  Of particular utility to me were Chapters Four- Stories to have in your Hip Pocket, Chapter Eight- What to do about Data, Chapter Ten- Getting Comfortable Telling Stories, and Chapter 14- Storytelling in Marketing.
  Having worked as a COO, consultant, and now as a professional writer; the ability to craft an effective spiel is critical to move and influence an audience. Finding the storyline of an event, telling it with passion, and mastering communicative style are just a few of the gems offered in this entertaining read from two masters of the art form.
  Highly recommended to business professionals looking to make an impact in their organization, or to the entrepreneur seeking to differentiate themself from the pack.
  Five Stars!