How to Win People Over With Storytelling

In November of 2012 I decided to join professional network/entrepreneurial brain trust.

The rationale was simple, successful people don’t succeed on their own.

There are two parts to the program:

  • Monthly interviews with a wide array of brilliant people, masters and advisors that have helped countless people with productivity, health, psychology, and more
  • Membership to an exclusive community of ambitious professionals to hold you accountable, encourage you, and help you live a Rich Life

I read as much (or more) than anyone I know, but reading is a time consuming endeavor.

This brain trust provides access to knowledge, wisdom and proven strategies that top performers use to…

  1. Get more done
  2. Stay focused
  3. Earn more money

Below is a video preview and my notes from Nancy Duarte, discuss, among other things, how to leverage storytelling to get a competitive edge, specific ways you can deliver stories to persuade friends & family and become instantly memorable, and how to use the power of narrative to transform your life.

  • Storytelling is a competitive advantage.
  • Storytelling is about transformation; something or someone changes in the process.
  • Your organization *HAS* to become a storytelling organization.
  • Good storytelling is very difficult to replicate.
  • Become an empathy architect because storytelling is about empathetically connecting to others.
  • Use stories, symbols and ceremonies to turn an epic idea into a movement.
  • People are attracted to leaders with ambitious, but realistic visions and goals.
    • Goals that are too ambitious create skeptics.
  • A leader’s job is to understand where the customers are going and where the employees are going. We need to meet them all there in the future at the same time
  • Nancy on getting her start:
    • “I was picking up the crumbs. But I had some of the yummiest crumbs and I got to sit there with the most powerful people in the Valley, because I was willing to do the work no else would do.”
  • Too many people try to get by with doing the minimum — in school and in their career. If you are willing to do more, you’ll have a better career trajectory than your peers.
  • A good, high stakes presentation should take 100 hours.
    • That much time is worth it for big accounts, clients, etc.
    • Ramit reminds us, the people who put in the most work get a disproportionate amount of the rewards.
  • When you let people approve/co-create your work and messages, they have to represent it and evangelize for it.
    • They won’t bad mouth it because they had a chance to review it and participate in the process.
  • The most successful people are open to really tough/brutal feedback.
  • Businesses need to have rituals and ceremonies (rites of passage).
    • Example: Steve Jobs had a funeral for Mac OS 9. He had even eulogized. He had to show his developers that it was time to move on.
  • There is narrative and emotions in the facts (Ex: Why did the numbers go up, or down?)
    • Facts alone don’t work. Facts alone can’t persuade.
    • Storytelling is the sugarcoating that helps people swallow the facts.
  • Elements that make delivery powerful:
    • Confidence
    • Mimicry – Know how your audience feels and what they expect
      • Be dressed and carrying yourself accordingly
    • Leverage artifacts of visualization
  • Advice from “Creativity, Inc.” (the Pixar Story): Keep feeding the beast (billable work, your day job, etc.), but don’t forget to innovate.


Bonus from Ramit: “When you’re going to a party, take a gift. Even if it’s just a $10 bottle of wine that the host throws away. Symbolism matters.”


If you want access to all my interview notes, and additional insight and analysis on the mindsets and strategies that other top performers use, please subscribe below: