"Stories That Stick" by Kindra Hall

Review by Borodutch

"Stories That Stick" is a peculiar book. It is beneficial and valuable — yet the author spends more time trying to justify to us the position that stories do matter. Even though I am almost sure most people reading the book found the stories told by the author captivating, I am a bit of a story connoisseur (in reality, I'm simply a dull white male who likes to complain). I feel that any story (indeed any) can be better than 99.9% of content — because that content doesn't have a story at all. This effect is similar to giving any reason after "because" to convince people you're more important than them and "you need to cut the line because you must get there sooner."

I'm skipping the why (I assume you can read the book or figure out why stories are powerful) and getting straight to the how. The author proposes the following framework for storytelling that captivates people the most:

  1. The old normal (how things used to be)
  2. Explosion (what changed — i.e., your product)
  3. The new normal (how things are better now)

All stories must have:

  1. Relatable and identifiable characters (not made up but real)
  2. Real emotions (make listeners cry)
  3. A turning moment in time (boom, everyone's shaken)
  4. Specific details ("I was shaving my dog bold when my cat suddenly...")

It looks like the book could've been an article — and rightfully so. Being a pro at storytelling, the author sells you the concept of storytelling masterfully. She goes on and on and on about all the stories related to the book. It is never repetitive (all stories are different), but I did get a story fatigue after finishing "Stories That Stick."

That said, I believe anyone can benefit from reading the book. The framework is solid (and it does work). Whether you're a business owner or an employee trying to land a dream job — stories are your bread and butter. People don't choose you because people are rational. People choose you because they like your story.