Are you in the emotional transportation biz?

…We’ve always found a way to tell our stories

It’s no secret that I am an unabashed fan of storytelling.  It is how we learn when we’re school kids, it’s how we get our friends to do crazy things (“think of what a great story this will be to tell your kids, Steve!) and it’s how we persuade each other — be it to vote for a candidate, buy a particular brand of cologne or share our religious beliefs.

Look at how reality TV has captured that truth.  We come to cheer for perfect strangers who become important to us — because we know their story.

We are, by our very nature, storytellers AND story absorbers.

And yet…in our business communications, all too often, we blather on about facts, figures and bullet points rather than letting the stories connect us to people who are drawn to them.  Which is why I really want you to read Peter Guber‘s Tell to Win. (click here to buy*)

Peter Guber is the founder and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment and owns NBA’s Golden State Warriors. Before creating Mandalay, he was Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Co-Owner of the Guber-Peters Entertainment Company, Chairman and CEO of Polygram, Co-Founder of Casablanca Record & Filmworks and President of Columbia Pictures.

So the man knows the power of stories in both business and entertainment.

“Emotional transportation” is what Guber calls the power of story telling and he says “more and more, success is won by creating compelling stories that have the power to move partners, shareholders, customers, and employees to action. Simply put, if you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it.”

I can’t argue with that.

As you might imagine, considering his career, Guber tells stories via the voices of  Magic Johnson, Michael Jackson, Wolfgang Puck, the founder of YouTube Chad Hurley, Bill Clinton, Michael Milken, director Tim Burton, Nelson Mandela, Mark Burnett, author Nora Roberts, Tina Sinatra, Anderson Cooper, Larry King, Steven Spielberg, Arianna Huffington, and many more.  So the read is entertaining while it educates.

The book outlines techniques you can use to create purposeful stories like changing passive listeners into active participants and using “state of the heart” technology on and offline to keep your audience connected to your story.

At the end of each chapter, Guber calls out the aHHa! elements of that section.  Like many business books, he gives you a formula for creating better, more compelling stories and then gives you plenty of examples to draw from.

Even if you’re already telling stories left and right — there are some nuances to be learned from this book.  be sure you come back and tell us a story of how you used what you learned!


*Yup, an affiliate link.  The author sent me an advanced copy of this book to review.  So did a bunch of other authors.  But this book is worth sharing with you.
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11 comments on “Are you in the emotional transportation biz?

  1. On the strength of your endorsement and my love of a good story I’ve just purchased this book. How good is Amazon? Polishing up my story telling abilities. Thank you once again Drew. For everything, including holding my toes to the fire.

    1. Laynie,

      You’ll have to let me know what you thought of it. It really does put the spotlight on storytelling. And always happy to help!


  2. Al Pittampalli says:

    Storytelling is so important in so many ways. I’ve seen Peter Guber speak and he really walks the walk. I’ve been thinking about getting his book, and now I’m convinced. Thanks.

    1. Al,

      Really? What kind of an event was he speaking at? Was he engaging? Let me know what you think of the book.


  3. Subhakar Rao says:

    Story telling is one of the best way to give an example related to any topic because stories attract the audience. Through stories people remember the topics easily.

    1. Subhakar —

      You’re right, storytelling aids in our memory and the ability to connect. It’s a powerful medium when used well.


  4. Ahh, the joys of storytelling! I actually took a class in college as an elective for an “EASY A” called The Art of Storytelling. This class prepared me more than any for speaking in front of an audience. Creating a story, memorizing it, and telling it to a room full of peers that might of seen you at a keg party the night before in a way that pulls others in, while feeling absolutely silly was definitely not that easy A I was looking for. But I did love the class!

    1. Melissa —

      You raise a good point. We sort of look at story telling as though anyone can do it. But there is an art to it. And a science. The strategy, planning etc. should not be overlooked or dismissed. I’ll bet the class was much harder than you expected but as you say — one that taught you skills you will use every day!


  5. rahasia seo says:

    it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips and hints for first-time blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

    1. Rahasia —

      I looked through all of my comments, even the ones that got shifted to the spam folder and didn’t see another one from you. I’m sorry it somehow got misplaced.

      I do have some tips for a new blog writer. Here are a couple:

      I hope these help.


  6. Alex says:

    Storytelling is important because some stories are very valuable to your culture.

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