“Story Smart: Using the Science of Story to Persuade, Influence, Inspire, and Teach” by Kendall Haven

I’ve hit that point with storytelling that I can’t get enough of it. You know what that’s like.

Pick anything that you just can’t get enough of. Anything. Your favorite song. Your love for cheesecake. That’s where I’m at for storytelling. I love knowing a particular subject down to the bonding of the atoms that hold the subject together. Luckily, there are books like Story Smart, by Kendall Haven out on the market. The author has another book, Story Proof, that delves even deeper into the research of how story works. (Yes, that book is on my wishlist) The book Story Smart is intended to give the reader the how-to for using that research. It delivers that well. I have made some small tweaks to some recent stories and gotten some really good feedback once off stage. I can’t wait to really start taking apart some of my old stories.

Haven sets out in the book to teach people to make effective stories; stories that inspire people hearing the stories to action. This is done by examining the structure of the story. The elements that make it up. Where parts of the story connect and lead to other parts. Tips are found all throughout that tie in scientific understanding of how the brain works to the art of storytelling. I found myself taking notes throughout the book. This will be one of the books I visit as I construct stories moving forward.

This book is ideal for people looking to improve how they tell stories, especially stories intended to teach, advocate, or inspire in an effective manner. While easy to understand, there is a lot of attention to details for building a story that stays with the people you tell it to. Causal storytellers or story listeners may find this as more details than they want to get into. Think of it as the difference between liking how wine taste versus knowing all the specifics of a wine connoisseur.  

I have my book on Google Play Books, but it can also be found on Amazon Kindle, and other physical book store locations. Be Smart about how you tell your story on purpose, check out “Story Smart: Using the Science of Story to Persuade, Influence, Inspire, and Teach”. It will help you improve your art form with science.

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