There are a lot of books about business storytelling, but I shy away from many of them because of their manipulative nature. I’m interested in storytelling as a way to grow my business by creating solid, trusting relationships. So the ones that approach it purely from a place of coercion and sales (and you can generally tell those from their title/blurb) aren’t as interesting to me.
Here are some books about story that I’ve purchased, read, re-read, and recommend without reservation:
Despite the use of “persuasion” in the title, this book is written from a place of genuine regard for relationships and connection. Full of stories and examples, and written in a very approachable and easy style, I find myself referring back to it often.
A general storytelling guide from standup comedian, Moth storytelling winner, and business storytelling consultant, Margot Leitman. Although not really a business book, the tools and how-to material in this very funny guide are valuable to all of us.
I often listen to podcasts while I’m working, while exercising, while walking the dog…I find them a great way to get in some extra learning time and also a way to help with the isolation that solo entrepreneurs can sometimes feel. Here are some of my favorites:
Long-running podcast with something for every businessperson. Named to the top 40 Small Business Podcasts in 2017, this business storytelling podcast draws from a diverse collection of guest wisdom to curate tips, tools, and strategies to help your marketing stand out.
This podcast focuses on “communication that connects, unites and generates engagement.” Guests include CEOs, Olympians, not-for-profit directors, social media gurus, and more, to discover how they use story to connect with their community.
Super-interesting guests like Dan Pink, Dan Heath, Seth Godin, Amy Porterfield, Michael Hyatt, and dozens more make this podcast a valuable companion to my daily workout (I’ve learned to keep a pen and paper handy…) Inspiring and practical advice on clarifying your message and growing your business using the power of story.
A new podcast in 2018, Anecdote aims to help us all become a great business storyteller and build a repertoire of stories we can tell to engage, influence and inspire. Join Shawn Callahan and Mark Schenk from Anecdote as they share great stories to tell, why they work and when to tell them.
A weekly public radio show, heard by 2.2 million people on more than 500 stations. Another 2.5 million people download the weekly podcast. It is hosted by Ira Glass, produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media, delivered to stations by PRX The Public Radio Exchange, and has won all of the major broadcasting awards. I rarely miss it.
Revisionist History is bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell’s journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time. A fascinating trip with a master storyteller.
Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of true stories to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. Moth storytellers stand alone, under a spotlight, with only a microphone and a roomful of strangers. Looking for something to plug into your ears while walking or exercising? The varied length and themes of The Moth shows make it a perfect companion.
This is a weekly podcast of true, personal tales from The Stoop’s Baltimore-based live show and podcast. It features “ordinary” people telling the extraordinary, true tales of their lives, in order to help create community and compassion through the sharing of personal stories.
StoryCorps’ started in 2003 with the opening of a story booth in New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Since then, it has collected and archived nearly 75,000 facilitated interviews from more than 150,000 participants from across the country who visit one of its recording sites. It is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. It has grown into an enduring national institution that—I hope—fosters a culture of listening in the United States.
This list is growing constantly…I have a backlog of hundreds that I’m endeavoring to share here. I’ll put the most recent ones at the top, and as the list grows I’ll break it out into categories. (having a surplus of stimulating reading material is a good problem to have, isn’t it?)