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In the dynamic world of business, storytelling has emerged as a powerful tool—bridging the gap between complex strategies and compelling execution. I've dedicated countless hours to devouring books on the subject, honing my craft, and weaving narratives that drive results. Together, we'll explore handpicked selections that will not only enhance your storytelling prowess but will also reshape the way you approach your profession. Trust in the journey—I've been there, and these resources are transformative.

Overview of 17 Books On Storytelling For Business

My list of books on storytelling for business including everything from classics and personal favorites to new and noteworthy titles you need to grab now.

1. The Storytelling Edge by Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow

2. Stories That Stick by Kindra Hall

3. Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller

4. Lead with a Story by Paul Smith

5. The Power of Story by Jim Loehr

6. Tell to Win by Peter Guber

7. Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

8. Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age by Jonah Berger

9. The Elements of Story by Francis Flaherty

10. Business Storytelling for Dummies by Karen Dietz and Lori L. Silverman

11. The Story Factor by Annette Simmons

12. Narrative and Numbers by Aswath Damodaran

13. Long Story Short by Margot Leitman

14. Hooked: How Leaders Connect, Engage and Inspire with Storytelling by Gabrielle Dolan and Yamini Naidu

15. Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

16. What's Your Story? by Craig Wortmann

17. The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley and Jonathan Littman.

Overview of 17 Books On Storytelling For Business

1. The Storytelling Edge by Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

This book, featured among the best books on Amazon, delves into how top companies craft a great story to drive success. Drawing upon insights similar to experts like Nancy Duarte, Lazauskas and Snow use their extensive experience to break down the art and science of weaving a compelling story in the business world.

What You'll Learn:

Dive into the intricacies of engaging business narratives, discovering how to leverage these stories for brand growth and loyalty. This book also unveils the fascinating brain science behind effective storytelling, offering insights into why some tales stick while others fade.

Why You Should Read It:

The insights from "The Storytelling Edge" will equip you to captivate your audience, fostering deeper connections and driving impactful results for your business.

About The Author:

Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow are renowned experts in content strategy and branded content. Their combined expertise brings together journalistic prowess and a deep understanding of brand needs in the modern digital landscape.

2. Stories That Stick by Kindra Hall

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Kindra Hall breaks down the essential elements of effective storytelling skills, guiding business owners through a journey of crafting stories that resonate and remain memorable. With the rise of apps aimed at helping individuals become a better storyteller, Hall emphasizes the timeless principles that truly drive business success.

What You'll Learn:

Kindra Hall unravels the foundational principles of a story that remains etched in memory. She reveals techniques that ensure business narratives aren't just heard but also remembered, and provides guidance on structuring stories to achieve maximum impact.

Why You Should Read It:

Hall's unique approach ensures that your stories not only get told but also remembered and retold, amplifying their reach and influence in the business realm.

About The Author:

Kindra Hall is a storytelling advisor to top brands, a bestselling author, and an internationally recognized keynote speaker. She’s known for her ability to demystify the story-building process and equip professionals with actionable storytelling techniques.

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3. Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Using his mastery of the English language, Donald Miller introduces a great book that presents a proven seven-part framework to help businesses clarify their brand's message. This good story framework ensures it's not only heard but deeply resonates with its intended audience, enabling them to influence people effectively. With his approach, Miller establishes himself as a master storyteller.

What You'll Learn:

Miller's framework is a deep dive into the essence of compelling brand storytelling. He illuminates the path to creating clear, captivating messages that guide customers on a journey, turning them from mere observers to passionate brand advocates.

Why You Should Read It:

If you've ever struggled with muddled messaging or failed to see the desired engagement, Miller's "Building A StoryBrand" offers the blueprint to reshape your brand's narrative and cultivate a rapt audience.

About The Author:

Donald Miller is a CEO, bestselling author, and storytelling expert. His company, StoryBrand, has helped thousands of businesses improve their brand messaging, leading to increased revenues and enhanced brand loyalty.

4. Lead with a Story by Paul Smith

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Drawing from his diverse experiences, including insights from his new book and episodes from his podcast, Paul Smith underscores the importance of storytelling in leadership and its impact on areas like public speaking and social media. Especially relevant for startup founders, he navigates the reader through the science and art of using authentic stories to inspire, instruct, and instigate action.

What You'll Learn:

Smith emphasizes the often-underestimated power of a well-told story in the corporate setting. By exploring case studies and real-life examples, readers will grasp how stories can be employed for problem-solving, driving change, setting a vision, or instilling values.

Why You Should Read It:

If the challenge lies in communicating ideas effectively and evoking desired responses from teams or clients, "Lead with a Story" provides the compass for impactful, human-centric leadership.

About The Author:

Paul Smith is one of the world's leading experts in organizational storytelling. A former Procter & Gamble executive, Smith's wisdom is culled from his vast experience in leadership roles and his deep study of effective communication.

5. The Power of Story by Jim Loehr

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Jim Loehr, drawing inspiration from various storytelling books, pushes beyond traditional business methods to introduce the concept of crafting purposeful narratives with a solid story structure. This approach aims for both personal and professional transformation.

What You'll Learn:

Loehr delves into the idea that reshaping your internal story can lead to profound external shifts in performance and fulfillment. By mastering the art of personal narrative, individuals can achieve peak performance, realize their potential, and align their purpose with action.

Why You Should Read It:

For those feeling stuck or unsatisfied in their career trajectory, "The Power of Story" illuminates the path to personal and professional renewal through intentional storytelling.

About The Author:

Dr. Jim Loehr is a world-renowned performance psychologist, co-founder of the Human Performance Institute, and has worked with hundreds of top-performers from athletes to business leaders to redefine and achieve their success.

6. Tell to Win by Peter Guber

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

In "Tell to Win", Peter Guber marries the world of entertainment and business, illustrating how the magic of a captivating story can persuade, motivate, and mobilize in any field.

What You'll Learn:

Guber emphasizes the power of emotional connection and resonance in storytelling. He uncovers the secrets of telling purposeful stories that move people—whether it's to buy, work hard, or change a longstanding belief.

Why You Should Read It:

For anyone looking to influence, convince, or inspire, "Tell to Win" offers the toolkit to harness stories as the ultimate vehicle for persuasion.

About The Author:

Peter Guber is a noted businessman, entertainment mogul, and co-owner of multiple sports teams. His expansive career in the entertainment industry has equipped him with unique insights into the art of captivating storytelling in a business context.

7. Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

This insightful book deciphers why certain ideas thrive while others die. The Heath brothers use engaging anecdotes, psychological studies, and thought experiments to present the anatomy of ideas that stick.

What You'll Learn:

Unpacking the six key qualities that make ideas sticky—simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories—the Heaths offer a blueprint for ensuring your message isn't just heard but also remembered and acted upon.

Why You Should Read It:

For professionals aiming to craft memorable messages—whether in marketing, leadership, or everyday communication—"Made to Stick" serves as the quintessential guide to impactful communication.

About The Author:

Chip and Dan Heath are both bestselling authors and educators. Chip is a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, while Dan is a senior fellow at Duke University's CASE center. Together, they have dedicated their careers to researching and teaching effective communication strategies.

8. Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age by Jonah Berger

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Jonah Berger explores the science behind virality and why certain content captures collective attention. Moving beyond mere luck, Berger identifies the systematic, underlying factors that drive people to share and engage.

What You'll Learn:

Berger introduces the six STEPPS—a set of key principles (Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, Stories) that make anything more likely to become popular. By understanding and leveraging these principles, one can craft contagious content.

Why You Should Read It:

In an age dominated by digital sharing, "Contagious" offers a roadmap for individuals and businesses alike to amplify their reach and influence through strategic, viral-worthy content.

About The Author:

Jonah Berger is a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. As a world-renowned expert on word of mouth, viral marketing, and social influence, his research has been featured in numerous top-tier publications.

9. The Elements of Story by Francis Flaherty

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Flaherty, drawing from his experience at The New York Times, provides a comprehensive guide on the craft of narrative writing. He emphasizes not just the how, but also the why of compelling storytelling.

What You'll Learn:

Readers will be introduced to the nuances of crafting plot, character development, pacing, and tension. Beyond the mechanics, Flaherty delves into the emotional and psychological dimensions that give stories depth and resonance.

Why You Should Read It:

For those seeking to refine their narrative skills and produce stories that leave a lasting impact, "The Elements of Story" offers invaluable insights and techniques.

About The Author:

Francis Flaherty has been an editor at The New York Times for over two decades. His extensive experience in narrative journalism has made him an authority on effective storytelling, and he has dedicated his career to teaching and mentoring writers in the field.

10. Business Storytelling for Dummies by Karen Dietz and Lori L. Silverman

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

This book serves as a pragmatic guide, offering step-by-step instruction on how to conceive, create, and share stories that can enhance communication and bring about organizational change.

What You'll Learn:

Dietz and Silverman offer techniques for uncovering and framing stories, exploring diverse applications of storytelling in business contexts. They provide tools for leveraging stories to foster connection, inspire teams, and drive strategic initiatives.

Why You Should Read It:

For those navigating the complexities of corporate communication, "Business Storytelling for Dummies" provides actionable insights to transform dry data and objectives into engaging, influential narratives.

About The Author:

Karen Dietz is a veteran in business storytelling, with a PhD in Folklore, while Lori L. Silverman is a sought-after keynote speaker and strategist. Their combined expertise marries the art and strategy of business storytelling.

11. The Story Factor by Annette Simmons

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Annette Simmons emphasizes the universal power of storytelling and its pivotal role in effective business communication. She presents storytelling as a crucial skill for influencing and connecting with others.

What You'll Learn:

The book offers insights into crafting compelling narratives that resonate, teaching readers how to encapsulate complex ideas within relatable stories. It guides professionals in tapping into the innate human affinity for storytelling to foster understanding, trust, and collaboration.

Why You Should Read It:

For professionals aiming to enhance their influence and communication skills, "The Story Factor" illuminates a path to genuine connection and persuasive communication through the art of storytelling.

About The Author:

Annette Simmons is a renowned author, consultant, and keynote speaker. With a background in psychology and years of consulting experience, she brings a wealth of insights into the psychological and practical aspects of effective storytelling in business.

12. Narrative and Numbers by Aswath Damodaran

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

A blend of narrative and quantitative insights, this book by Aswath Damodaran unravels the synergies between storytelling and valuation to guide businesses in enhancing their financial communication.

What You'll Learn:

Damodaran proposes a balanced approach that amalgamates storytelling’s emotional pull with the compelling evidence of numbers. Readers learn to narrate their corporate stories while substantiating them with concrete data, for more convincing, balanced business communication.

Why You Should Read It:

For finance professionals, entrepreneurs, or anyone vested in the corporate financial landscape, "Narrative and Numbers" paves the way for richer, more impactful communication that appeals to both the emotional and rational sides of the audience.

About The Author:

Aswath Damodaran is a Professor of Finance at NYU's Stern School of Business. Known as a valuation expert, he combines his deep understanding of financial analytics with the art of storytelling to teach effective, balanced business communication.

13. Long Story Short by Margot Leitman

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Margot Leitman brings forth the essence of storytelling through a humorous, instructive, and sharp narrative. She emphasizes the power of personal stories, detailing how they can be utilized for various purposes, from professional presentations to everyday conversations.

What You'll Learn:

Leitman outlines the structure of effective storytelling, from identifying engaging anecdotes from your life to the nuances of delivery. She provides tools and techniques to craft stories that not only entertain but also connect, persuade, and inspire.

Why You Should Read It:

For anyone aiming to leave a lasting impression through their narratives, "Long Story Short" offers a treasure trove of storytelling wisdom, all delivered with Leitman's characteristic wit and warmth.

About The Author:

Margot Leitman is an award-winning comedic storyteller, writer, and teacher. Renowned for her vibrant stage presence and storytelling prowess, she has dedicated her career to teaching the art of narrative through workshops, lectures, and her writing.

14. Hooked: How Leaders Connect, Engage and Inspire with Storytelling by Gabrielle Dolan and Yamini Naidu

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Dolan and Naidu delve into the transformative power of storytelling in leadership. They argue that stories are the key to genuine leadership connections, facilitating trust, understanding, and inspiration.

What You'll Learn:

This book offers insights into the types of stories leaders should tell, guiding readers through the process of identifying, crafting, and delivering impactful narratives tailored for various leadership scenarios.

Why You Should Read It:

For leaders and aspiring leaders, "Hooked" showcases how to elevate leadership communication from mere information transfer to memorable, influential storytelling.

About The Author:

Gabrielle Dolan and Yamini Naidu are both global experts in business storytelling. Their combined experience spans across consulting for Fortune 500 companies, keynote speaking, and conducting workshops dedicated to infusing storytelling into leadership.

15. Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Lisa Cron delves deep into the neuroscience of storytelling, revealing how our brains are innately designed to crave and respond to stories. She explains why certain narratives captivate us while others fall flat.

What You'll Learn:

Drawing from the latest research in neuroscience, Cron elucidates the cognitive mechanisms triggered by storytelling. Readers will gain insights into crafting stories that align with the brain's natural inclinations, ensuring narratives that engage, move, and stay with the audience.

Why You Should Read It:

For anyone keen on understanding the science behind impactful stories, "Wired for Story" unravels the deep, biological roots of humanity's age-old affinity for narrative.

About The Author:

Lisa Cron is a story consultant, writer, and instructor at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program. Her extensive study of the biology of storytelling has positioned her as a unique voice in the world of narrative theory and practice.

16. What's Your Story? by Craig Wortmann

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Craig Wortmann showcases the significance of storytelling in the modern business landscape. He presents storytelling as a strategic tool, enabling professionals to break through the noise and genuinely connect with their audience.

What You'll Learn:

Wortmann delves into the art of crafting and delivering compelling business narratives. Through a series of actionable steps, readers learn how to mine their experiences for stories, develop them into persuasive narratives, and deploy them effectively across various business scenarios.

Why You Should Read It:

For professionals striving to elevate their communication, build trust, and drive results, "What's Your Story?" serves as a comprehensive guide to harnessing the unparalleled power of storytelling.

About The Author:

Craig Wortmann is a seasoned entrepreneur, sales professional, and academic. As a professor at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and the CEO of Sales Engine, Wortmann blends practical experience with academic insight to enrich his teachings on effective business communication.

17. The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley and Jonathan Littman

books on storytelling for business

Summary:

Going beyond mere theory, Kelley and Littman introduce ten personas that can be adopted by teams and organizations to foster innovation. They highlight the synergy of storytelling and innovation, showing how narratives can catalyze creative processes.

What You'll Learn:

The book delves into ten distinct innovation personas—from The Anthropologist to The Experience Architect—and explains their roles in driving creativity. Through these personas, readers will understand how storytelling can be a tool to envision and enact innovative solutions.

Why You Should Read It:

For teams and leaders looking to infuse their work with creativity and break away from traditional molds, "The Ten Faces of Innovation" offers a fresh lens to view challenges and craft innovative solutions.

About The Author:

Tom Kelley is the general manager of IDEO, the iconic design and innovation company. Jonathan Littman collaborated with Kelley in crafting this narrative. Together, their insights bring a depth of understanding to the nexus of storytelling and innovation. You can also find him on his LinkedIn.

What Books on Storytelling For Business Do You Recommend?

We value the collective knowledge of our readers. If there are standout books on storytelling for business that you believe should have made our list, please share your recommendations. Your insights enrich our community, and we're always eager to discover and explore fresh perspectives.

By Stephanie Hood

Stephanie Hood is an experienced marketing professional and Editor of The CMO. With nearly a decade spent as Marketing Manager at Discover Holidays and Executive Editor at VIVA Lifestyle & Travel, she built her career leading editorial and marketing teams and strategies that turn six-figure budgets into seven-figure profits. She now enjoys connecting with the world's top executives to learn their secrets to business success, and shares those insights right here with her community of like-minded professionals. Curious what she’s uncovered? Be sure to sign up for The CMO newsletter.