The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business

The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business

by Richard Maxwell, Robert Dickman


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"Every great leader is a great storyteller," says Harvard University psychologist Howard Gardner.

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.

Maxwell and Dickman use their experiences—both in the entertainment industry and as corporate consultants—to deliver a formula for winning stories. All successful stories have five basic components: the passion with which the story is told, a hero who leads us through the story and allows us to see it through his or her eyes, an antagonist or obstacle that the hero must overcome, a moment of awareness that allows the hero to prevail, and the transformation in the hero and in the world that naturally results.

Let's face it: leading is a lot more fun than following. Even if you never want to be a CEO or to change the world, you do want to have control over your own work and your own ideas. Ultimately, that is what the power of storytelling can give you.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061179037
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/14/2007
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.89(d)

About the Author

Richard Maxwell brings the skills he developed in his twenty-five-year career as a screen and television writer-producer to FirstVoice's clients. In addition to his produced feature films—The Challenge, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and Shadow of China—he has worked as a script doctor, writing or rewriting films for every one of the major Hollywood studios and many independent producers. He lives in Pacific Palisades, California, with his wife, Christine.

Robert Dickman is an executive coach who teaches narrative strategies as they relate to corporate communication, product design, and branding with FirstVoice, a consulting firm specializing in media awareness training for business. Robert was formerly a monk at the Ryutaku-ji Zen Monastery in Mishima, Japan, and later an actor and an acting and communications coach for Academy-Award-winning actors. He lives in Santa Monica, California, with his wife, Aimee, and daughter, Rylie.

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The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
jpsnow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a concise and thoughtful introduction to communicating through storytelling. I found their framework and supporting examples - ok, stories - instructive. The authors also shared a lot of interesting insights. For example, memories are much more likely to be created when there is stress or other high emotion. There is biological evidence for this effect and we can use it to our advantage. They summarize stories as "facts wrapped in emotions" and successfully demonstrate the effectiveness of communicating through that type of support. There were points with which I didn't agree, and the attempts to tie their framework to Eastern philosophy (the 5 elements) only succeeded halfway for me. They open with a claim that previous generations didn't need to be storytellers to succeed as much as we do today, yet every single transaction then was a direct story, often involving trading and barter. The skills are different, but not new.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago