The Storyteller’s Secret: How the World’s Most Inspiring Leaders Turn Their Passion Into Performance by Carmine Gallo

Category: Communication

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Why: I love telling great stories.
Goal: learn a universal storyline that inspires us.

Action: Use One Analogy in Every Explanation.

3 Key Concepts

  1. Great stories have common traits.
  2. Customers must trust in your story: be authentic.
  3. The brand’s narrative must go beyond making money: mission.


How to come up with an analogy?

Select an action that doesn’t relate to the situation. Confused already?

Why? Because obvious analogies are simply much less inspiring.

‘Selling more of our new product is like… brushing your teeth’ will lead to more interesting insights than ‘selling more of our new product is like… finding new customers’.

René de Ruijter

Find similarities and go from there to build up a story. I know this will take work. First, you must write down and solve this little puzzle. But, hey, think of the smile from your listener. It is worth it.

This book has – as many reviewers said – a very repetitive message. But I guess that is the core message of what Gallo was trying to get across: there is a known formula to great stories. So here is what I found most practical to work on.

First, tell in 3 parts like in a movie.

  1. Introduce protagonist and anti-protagonist. Give a vivid backstory of them that listener can relate to. This allows them to be a protagonist themselves.
  2. Trigger event to link with adversity protagonist must face. Here you explain how main character transforms.
  3. Win over the tyranny! Happy-ending with life lesson.

You will win the heart of listeners every time with this storyline.

Second, be authentic.

Here are 3 dimensions of authentic brands, defined by marketing professor Julie Napoli.

  1. Heritage
    Customers want to know where a product comes from.
  2. Sincerity
    Customers want to know who is behind it.
  3. Commitment to quality
    Customers want to know how committed they are to delivering a quality product.

Every company must stand for something.

Howard Schultz

Third, tell your mission.

Give your audience something to cheer for in 7 steps.

  • One there was a …
    – a hero with a goal
  • Every day he
    – hero’s world in balance at first
  • Until one day
    – conflict
  • Because of that …
    – sequences of effects
  • Because of that …
    – more severe effects
  • Until finally …
    – climax reveals the triumph of good over evil
  • Ever since then …
    – the moral of the story

To sum up, Gallo shows us a simple way to tell great stories. Now it is on us to practice them. Find what we hold dear in our life and start telling them the best we can 🙂

black and red typewriter
Stories matter

Goal check: I learned a good amount of what to look for in great stories.

Wasu’s Review
( 3.5 / 5.0 )

Get this book on Amazon here!

Bonus: my biggest mistake in storytelling was that I tried to differentiate myself from others. I thought it will give meaning to what I am telling. At least I should begin with something so common everyone can relate to.

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