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The Persuasion Story Code

By David Garfinkel

*A Book Review*

by Michael C. Gray

© 2023 by Michael C. Gray

According to persuasive writing coach David Garfinkel, writers and speakers are being taught a model of storytelling that doesn't work for persuasive situations. As a result, they might not effectively use the best tool in the persuasion toolbox.

Inspired by The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler, based on Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Hollywood scriptwriters and authors of novels have adopted the Hero's Journey structure of classic myths. That structure is: Ordinary World; Call to Adventure; Refusal of the Call; Meeting with the Mentor; Crossing the First Threshold; Tests, Allies, Enemies; Approach to the Inmost Cave; Ordeal; Reward; The Road Back; and Resurrection.

David Garfinkel learned this structure as a student in classes about scriptwriting.

David points out that the stories we use for casual conversation are usually very short. There simply isn't enough time to include all of the elements of the Hero's Journey. A typical movie takes two hours to relate a Hero's Journey story. We might lose a listener after two minutes!

He distinguishes the two types of stories as a Story, which has a beginning, middle and end, and a brief, persuasive $tory. We naturally use $tories every day when we are casually trying to convince another person of something.

Sometimes a conversation might include two or three word picture "$tories" in one sentence!

Using $tories for persuasive conversation isn't new. For example, Jesus's parables in the New Testament are $tories.

In The Persuasion Story Code, David gives examples, gives subcategories and analyzes six types of stories: (1) Origin Stories, (2) Stories about a prospect's pain, (3) Stories that predict the future (called future pacing in neuro-linguistic programming), (3) Reassurance stories, (5) Stories that explain, and (6) Stories that build trust.

As human beings, we are hardwired the listen to stories. We remember stories and find it much harder to remember statistics and technical explanations. Stories help us to relate things to our own lives and build personal relationships.

Almost all of us are involved in persuasion in some way, including salespeople, copywriters, speakers, politicians, managers, teachers, doctors, dentists, parents, etc.

You are probably already using stories in your conversation. The Persuasion Story Code will help you think about your stories in a new way, and tell even better stories that are appropriate for a persuasive situation.

Buy it at Amazon: The Persuasion Story Code: The Magic of Conversational Storytelling.

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