If you’re looking to grow your business while telling a story that matters, then this list of books is just for you. I’ve pulled together the best storytelling books for business owners.
Storytelling is the best way to build an emotional connection with customers and these books are full of tips on how to do it well. Read them all!
- Refine their storytelling skills to engage and close with more customers
- Develop a flexible approach to storytelling so you can adapt to new situations and obstacles
- Develop and share powerful presentations
- Improve their visual and data communications skills to improve communication for any purpose in life
With that, let’s get started
Upgrade Your Storytelling Skills for Better Sales & Marketing Results
In “Sell With a Story”, keynote and corporate storyteller Paul Smith shows readers how to apply sales principles to storytelling. In the first part of the book, Smith covers how stories can be adapted to meet different sales goals. The second part helps readers develop and refine their sales stories with the use of templates, roadmaps, and real-life stories of successful (and sometimes unsuccessful) sales staff.
Bob Kulhan takes principles from cognitive and social psychology, behavioral economics, and communication to teach readers how to think on their feet and approach the most common business challenges with fresh eyes and openness.
One key skill for sales success is thinking on one’s feet. Sales people constantly encounter new objections, new competitors, and new opportunities to make the sale. What’s another field that thrives on thinking on one’s feet? Improvisation. This may explain why many leaders of Fortune 500 businesses are taking improv classes.
While you may not have the budget for a high-priced consultant, you can get a book that introduces readers to the principles and skills behind improv applied to your business. That book is “Getting to Yes And”. Written by a former Second City improv actor and current corporate improv trainer, this book will guide you through the basics of “Business Improv 101”.
You’ve heard of TED Talks, a conference and media organization that commands over a billion views worldwide. You’ve probably heard of the career-transforming power of a TED talk as well. If you ever wanted to tap into that power for your own personal goals, then “Talk Like TED” is your next read.
In “Talk Like TED”, public speaking coach Carmine Gallo shares insights from his review of hundreds of TED talks along with those of researchers. Gallo reviewed these talks for the crucial elements behind the most popular and talked-about TED talks. With Gallo’s insights, readers get a glimpse of what makes a powerful TED talk and learn how to use that power anywhere at any time.
Drawing from a background in mathematics and engineering, this author has simplified the art of drawing to its most basic elements. Comparing it to the simplicity of equations, you'll be able to use these seven shapes-a circle, a square (in pieces), two triangles, an oval-to explain just about any idea imaginable.
As author Dan Roam points out, the world of communication has again gone visual. Mankind first used pictures to communicate. Then writing came along. As we move through the 21st century, this trend will reverse. We now communicate in a highly visual world with videos, GIFs, memes, charts, infographics, etc. Because of this trend, those who want to successfully communicate in the modern world need to develop their visual communication skills.
“Draw to Win” is a guide to developing those skills. The book helps readers develop confidence and skills (through drawing exercises) in visual communication. Using the book’s skills along with writing is the key to becoming a powerful communicator who is able to translate ideas into well-developed words and images.
For anyone who needs to get their idea across, wants staff onboard with change, or fostering collaboration, fosters sales for their company, requires staff engagement to help grow business - Business Storytelling For Dummies can help.
In a book list about storytelling, this book is a must. “Business Storytelling for Dummies” combines all the general skills of a business storyteller-in-training.The book helps storyteller novices understand the impact of storytelling, the different types of storytelling, and how to adapt it to your business needs.
The book goes into particular depth about listening as a skill in storytelling, expanding and contracting parts of stories to achieve a specific goal, and using them throughout the organization (not just your sales conversations with customers). If you are looking for a book that provides a roadmap to the areas you need to become a master business storyteller. (Cape not included, though it is advised.)
Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
Storytelling with Data helps you learn the fundamental of data visualization and how to use it. They'll show you a powerful and engaging way to tell your story with data. The lessons in this text are based on theory but made accessible through many real-world examples - ready for immediate application to your next graph or presentation.
Data is something all of us will have to be comfortable, especially in business.”Storytelling with Data” is a book built to help professionals thrive in this world. In the past, business communication focused on the presentation of data. As long as the data was formatted, the design was a secondary issue.
In this era, design is what separates good professional communication from bad communication. “Storytelling with Data” helps professionals do more than present well-designed data. It helps business professionals tell a story with that data. Readers learn how to apply the right context, choose the right graphic to display data, and how to direct your audience to the most important parts of your data. Using this book, professionals will learn how to present and deliver their data with clarity and power.
Using a combination of design principles and Zen simplicity, "Presentation Zen" will put you on the right path to creating more effective presentations.
Don’t let the age of this book disuade you. “Presentation Zen” is a classic centered around bringing clarity into a presentation. Unlike some of the books on this list, the book isn’t really concerned with technical details or innovation. “Presentation Zen” is focused solely on communicating well. It focuses on three key parts of the presentation: preparation, design, and delivery. If you get these three aspects of your presentation right, the rest will be effortless.
The key is doing this with clarity, not clutter. “Presentation Zen”, by a multi-talented speaker and consultant Garr Reynolds, can definitely help with that.
In the book Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath reveal six traits of ideas that "stick" (a memorable metaphor for have a big effect). These steps are applied to many examples throughout the book including a hoax about kidney theft.
Published in 2007, this is one of the older books on the list. It is a goodie, however, because it deals with communication at the most basic level, ideas. No matter what graphic, tool, or words you use, you need ideas that are well-developed and will resonate with your audience. “Made to Stick” explores the dynamics behind “sticky” ideas, ideas that have a lasting impact on others. Using this book, readers will be able to enhance their own ideas with the”sticky” principles in the book, giving their ideas a much-needed boost in this world of crowded content.