Book Review

Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins

How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact

by Annette Simmons, AMACOM Books, New York, N.Y., 2007, 226 pp. with index, $22 hardcover

As administrators, we know that without excellent communication in the classroom, staff lounge, board room or community, we’re dead in the water. We also know it is easier to garner support if positive, personal relationships are in place.

In Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate With Power and Impact, author Annette Simmons inspires the reader to use compelling storytelling to make quick, personal connections with listeners. Once those listener connections are made, all types of verbal discourse to inform, convince, actuate and inspire are ultimately more successful.

Simmons, founder of Group Process Consulting, has worked with NASA and the IRS as well as small, private firms and writes on a variety of topics in the area of enhancing dialogue. In Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins, Simmons convinces readers that everybody has a story and then guides readers in developing their own stories to share, captivate and persuade audiences.

The book includes a workbook that provides a set of structured opportunities to frame and perfect a story. The reader learns about six kinds of stories and places to find stories.

Although a busy administrator may not actually take the time to complete the short exercises in the book, simply reading it conveys the invaluable message that powerful presentations create, whether to the board chair, PTA or a class of high school juniors, when told through a good story.

Reviewed by Marilyn H. King, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, Bozeman, Mont.