Harnessing the Power of Stories
When people think of advocating for their ideas, they think of convincing arguments based on data, facts, and figures. However, studies show that if you share a story, people are often more likely to be persuaded. And when data and story are used together, audiences are moved both intellectually and emotionally. When telling a story, you take the listener on a journey, moving them from one perspective to another. In this way, story is a powerful tool for engendering confidence in you and your vision. Stanford Marketing Professor Jennifer Aaker demonstrates the importance of story in shaping how others see you and as a tool to persuade. Aaker shares the elements of successful stories and makes the case for developing a portfolio of signature stories. Harnessing the power of story will enable you to be more persuasive, move people to action, and progress into your career.
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To Increase Charitable Donations, Appeal to the Heart -- Not the Head: Wharton Business School Professor Deborah Small's research is the focus of this article on how using a story, rather than relying on facts, can motivate people to action by triggering their emotions.
The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains: Buffer co-founder Leo Widrichshares shares the science of why storytelling is so uniquely powerful.
Tips on Story: James Buckhouse, Managing Editor at Twitter, provides tips on how to create concise stories.
Women Entrepreneurs, Example Not Exception: In this TED talk, reporter Gayle Tzemach Lemmon uses her personal story and the stories of women she has discovered in her travels to explain how women entrepreneurs are key, yet often overlooked, in economic development.
How to Tell a Story: Six TED talks focus on the theme of "How to Tell a Story."
The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, effective, and powerful ways to use social media to drive social change: The Dragonfly Effect blog gives guidance on how to translate any idea or product into a powerful narrative that invites participation and drives results.
Resonate: In Resonate, Nancy Duarte provides necessary guidance for speakers to create visual stories and design presentations that connect them with their audience and lead them to purposeful action.
Story: In Story, Robert McKee reveals the methods that have led him to be regarded as the world's premier teacher on screenwriting and story, while also providing insights into the hidden sources of storytelling, the decisive differences between mediocrity and excellence in storytelling, and how story is about form, not formula.
View Power of Stories Biographies
GENERAL ATLANTIC PROFESSOR OF MARKETING
STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
EDUCATION MODULE PRESENTER
A social psychologist, Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Her research spans time, money and happiness. She co-authored the award-winning book, “The Dragonfly Effect: Quick Effective Powerful Ways to Harness Social Media for Impact.” A recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, Citibank Best Teacher Award, and George Robbins Best Teacher Award, she teaches courses like Social Brands, Designing Happiness, and How to Tell a Story.
Aaker received her PhD in Marketing, PhD Minor in Psychology, from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Christy Turlington Burns
FOUNDER, EVERY MOTHER COUNTS
EDUCATION MODULE INTERVIEWEE
Christy Turlington Burns is the founder of Every Mother Counts, a campaign to end preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world. In 2010, Burns directed and produced “No Woman, No Cry”, a documentary film about the global state of maternal health. Prior to her work as a global maternal health advocate, Burns focused her activism on smoking prevention and cessation after losing her father to lung cancer in 1997. She collaborated on several public health service campaigns and launched an award-winning website, SmokingIsUgly.com in 2002.
Burns earned her BA from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies and is currently pursuing a MPH at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.
CHIEF OPERATION OFFICER, TASKRABBIT
EDUCATION MODULE INTERVIEWEE
Stacy Brown-Philpot is a leader in operations and strategic management. Before taking the operational helm at TaskRabbit, Brown-Philpot served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Google Ventures, lending strategic expertise to the firm’s portfolio companies. Prior to that, she spent nearly a decade leading global operations for Google’s flagship products, including Search, Chrome, and Google+, and serving as Head of Online Sales and Operations for Google India. Brown-Philpot founded the Black Googler Network and she also brings a background in finance from her time at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Goldman Sachs.
Brown-Philpot holds a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude, and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
PRODUCT INNOVATION AND MARKETING CONSULTANT
EDUCATION MODULE INTERVIEWEE
Erika Shumate is a leader in product development and marketing with work experience with SavvyMoney, a financial services company, and Renewable Ventures. She has worked in strategic new business development, especially with regard to tax credits to finance solar panel installation.
Shumate received her MBA from Stanford University in 2011 where she served as the co-president of the Product Design and Manufacturing Club. She also received her BA in the History of Science and Medicine from Yale University.
DIRECTOR, EXECUTIVE, CO-FOUNDER, ADVISOR
EDUCATION MODULE INTERVIEWEE
Tina Sharkey has created and scaled multiple consumer and media businesses to profitability worldwide. Most recently she served as the CEO of BabyCenter, LLC a wholly owned division of Johnson and Johnson. With more than 20 years of experience, she co-founded iVillage, led multiple businesses at AOL and started the digital internet division at Sesame Street. Sharkey is a global speaker at industry events, conferences and corporate meetings, blogs for Forbes.com and is a guest lecturer and mentor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Sharkey served as a Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and earned her BA in International Relations from University of Pennsylvania.
View Power of Stories References
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Sympathy and Empathy: Emotional Responses to Advertising Dramas
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Once Upon a Brain: Neuroscience, Self, and Story
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Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
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The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn
Hsu, Jeremy. 2008. "The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn." Scientific American, Sept 18 2008.
To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
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Fishing for Feelings: A Hook Helps!
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Narrative versus Analytical Self-Referencing and Persuasion
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