What’s in a Story?

A little bit about Annette Simmons

Annette discovered the power of storytelling as a group intervention during graduate school. Attending workshops and hiring professional storytellers as coaches she refined her storytelling skills and studied the psychological impact of stories. She delivered her first course in storytelling in 1998 as a leadership training course for government executives through the Office of Personnel Management. Annette continues to provide leadership training, keynote speeches, and web delivered training in the areas of storytelling, dialogue and overcoming turf wars. She also accepts a limited number of engagements facilitating dialogue with intact groups

The Big Secret ... Do you know it?
  • #1

    4 ways to find your story

    In the beginning, finding good stories is difficult.  If only because your brain keeps saying, “I can’t tell stories.” or “I’m not a storyteller.”  Trust me; if you are breathing you tell stories.  The problem is that on a ba...Read More

  • #2

    A Time You Shined

    This kind of story is about something good that happened to you. If you are communicating a quality like integrity, a value like compassion, or a learning situation, these stories will tell about a time in your life when it would've been ea...Read More

  • #3

    A Time You Blew It

    This is about a time when something bad happened and it was your fault.  Sharing a personal failure, flaw, or embarrassing moment means that in the trust dance, you trust them enough to go first. When you go first, you get the ball rolling...Read More

  • #4

    A Mentor

    The third kind of story could be your personal memories of an important person in your life, or the important impact a historical or famous person had on you. Share an experience via story about that person that brings him/her alive with de...Read More

"Build a Community"

Help the people around you share stories, remember their mutual humanity and rekindle the joy of collaboration. (And stay in touch!)

  • 1

    Who I Am

    Who I Am Stories

    What qualities earn you the right to influence this person? Tell of a time/place/event that provides evidence that you have these qualities. Reveal who you are, as a person. Do you have kids? What were...Read More

  • 2

    Why I'm Here

    Why I Am Here Stories

    If you wish to influence, regardless of your objective, you are asking for a person’s time, money, or resources.   We were taught in “Sales 101” that answering the WIIFM--"What's In It for...Read More

  • 3


    Vision Stories

    An exciting future story reframes present difficulties as "worth it." Big projects and new challenges can be difficult and frustrating particularly for people who weren’t in on the decision-making proc...Read More

  • 4

    Values in Action

    Values in Action Stories

    Values are subjective. Integrity may mean doing what your boss tells you to do, or saying no even if it costs your job. This is why the only way to communicate a value is by example (best), or ...Read More

  • 5

    I Know What You Are Thinking

    “I Know What You Are Thinking" Stories

    People like to stay safe. Many times they have already made up their mind, with specific objections to the ideas you bring. They stop you before your presentation and tell you, ...Read More

  • 6


    Teaching Stories

    Certain lessons are best learned from experience— but much of the time you can’t manufacture an experience for someone.  When the experience of failure is too expensive or disastrous to endure –...Read More

  • 1

    Storytelling is Developmental

    "Story works because a story lets people come to their own conclusions vs. reporting your conclusions.  A story travels through A, B, C, D, and then E instead of pushing a concludion ‘E’ when they have no context, haven’t gone through their...Read More

  • 2

    Oral Language uses more channels

    "If you are “of two minds” about an issue and are forced to publicly endorse something that makes you uncomfortable.  OR…if you want to sound confident but inside you are thinking “I’m not good enough,”  then your words may say one thing and...Read More

  • 3

    Intention - The Most Important Thing (M.I.T)

    "Who you are and why you want to influence matter more than your words, strategy, presentation, or how much time you have.  Any distraction than pulls you away from you core message makes you less effective.  OR feeling confused about which...Read More

  • 4

    Images need sensory detail to stick in the mind

    "When you tell a story that has a dog.  You don’t need to say what kind of dog, what color of dog, or how big the dog is.  Every listener has a dog they can use for that story.  Say the detail is a box (above).  Despite the fact that my image...Read More

  • 5

    Participation vs. Control - Inverse Relationship

    "If you want a story that will “make them see” once and for all, that you are right, you have missed the point.  There are many points of view, you look at mine and I might be willing to look at yours.  But if you over control a story, it makes...Read More

  • 6

    Who is the beneficiary?

    "Telling a story because you want people to listen to you as influential as sleeping gas. Telling a story that moves people requires that you tell the story for them, for their benefit, they are the beneficiaries.
    ...Read More

Privacy Policy

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas iaculis tristique felis, vitae consectetur enim tincidunt at. Pellentesque ut nibh arcu, bibendum fringilla enim. Integer dui diam, elementum in interdum non, dictum nec tortor. Aliquam diam turpis, volutpat vitae rhoncus sit amet, congue ultrices ante. Maecenas dictum placerat nulla id aliquet. Donec tincidunt libero lobortis lacus tempor dictum. Duis iaculis, purus sed dignissim tincidunt, libero justo eleifend magna, id mattis odio sapien ut tellus. Suspendisse eget viverra diam. Pellentesque porta, arcu vel imperdiet laoreet, ligula nisi faucibus leo, ut auctor elit augue et elit. Phasellus fermentum neque eget lectus rhoncus varius. Cras at enim porta urna feugiat fermentum. Vestibulum mattis suscipit sollicitudin. Cras ac magna sed velit posuere pretium quis eget eros. Maecenas viverra venenatis ante, vitae dapibus lectus pellentesque quis.

Vestibulum orci enim, sodales sed faucibus at, placerat ut nunc. Donec ullamcorper gravida neque, id sollicitudin risus lobortis nec. Maecenas commodo, nisl a pretium adipiscing, nibh felis tempus quam, eget rutrum ipsum mauris quis est. Curabitur ac mauris non velit semper varius et sit amet velit. Fusce nec tincidunt urna. Fusce at turpis ut quam varius mattis et sit amet sem. Nullam laoreet venenatis purus, eget convallis nunc feugiat in. Phasellus nec viverra nisl. Quisque elementum porttitor sagittis. In pharetra, lectus eget blandit pharetra, nulla lorem aliquam dolor, vel aliquam tellus leo sit amet felis. Aenean eget arcu vitae sapien suscipit convallis et vel tortor.

Duis purus velit, ultricies non bibendum semper, imperdiet nec diam. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Praesent feugiat, augue in tristique adipiscing, purus nisi malesuada dui, sed faucibus tortor arcu a urna. Pellentesque id purus sed velit placerat sodales quis sit amet lacus. Vestibulum rutrum ipsum vel magna rhoncus elementum. Morbi hendrerit lorem nec augue convallis eu faucibus est sollicitudin. Quisque ullamcorper dolor non turpis placerat scelerisque. Sed libero arcu, sagittis sed auctor ac, luctus at massa. Nam placerat ultrices velit, pharetra ullamcorper mi sagittis ac. Donec venenatis tristique fringilla. Integer nunc ipsum, pharetra ut ultricies non, luctus et eros. Etiam eu diam at nunc semper dictum. In vel odio est, quis pharetra arcu. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Suspendisse potenti. Aenean sit amet nisl at sem volutpat lobortis lobortis in ligula. Vestibulum id orci vitae diam rutrum varius ut vitae nibh. Aliquam lacus odio, ultrices ac molestie et, scelerisque id ipsum. Duis et tellus purus, vel auctor diam. Phasellus suscipit placerat convallis.