Story Smart

  • Title:Story Smart: Using the Science of Story to Persuade, Influence, Inspire, and Teach
  • Author:Kendall Haven
  • Publication Date:October 2014
  • Grade Level:K-12
  • ISBN:9781610698115
  • Publisher:ABC-Clio

Storytelling has been used for centuries as a means to sway public opinion, influence behavior, and inspire change. Yet according to recent research, 98 percent of stories shared are ineffective, and one-third of all narratives are actually counterproductive to delivering the meaning intended by the teller. Author Kendall Haven contends that you can craft messages that will resonate effectively with your audience by learning and utilizing the science of story.

Based on breakthroughs in the fields of neural and cognitive sciences, this book demonstrates how stories can exert influence and persuade audiences. Through step-by-step guidance, you will learn how to construct communications for impact, meaning, and accuracy. This practical guide is organized into four sequential parts: the neuroscience of words; the set of tools provided to each user; the influence of narratives in changing beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors; and the techniques needed for building powerful, influential, and effective (PIE) stories. This book will help you master the tools and critical skills of effective story-based communication.


  • Shows how to use the power of story to get your message across in any medium or venue
  • Explores the convergence of the neural science of story with the art of communication to reveal the power of words
  • Provides tips, techniques, and strategies for structuring your stories for the most impact
  • Reveals the common communication pitfalls to avoid

Author Bio

Kendall Haven is the only internationally recognized expert in the science of story structure, participating in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Narrative Networks project to research the neural and cognitive science of how stories exert influence. Previously, Haven spent eight years as a senior research scientist for the Department of Energy. His published works include 24 books from Libraries Unlimited, including Story Proof: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story; Crash Course in Storytelling; and Super Simple Storytelling: A Can-Do Guide for Every Classroom, Every Day.

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