2 Lessons from Stories That Stick | Kindra Hall

The Secrets to Becoming a Master Storyteller

Jack Yang
3 min readJun 12, 2021
Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business


Storytelling is one of the most underappreciated traits in the modern world. In a society where people are bombarded by tons of information each day, it becomes harder to make a product stand out simply by listing out hard facts because there are a million others messages that sound just like yours. This is where storytelling sets you apart from your competitors because stories have unique propositions that capture your customers' attention and provoke their emotions. However, storytelling is not an easy skill to acquire since it is not often taught in school. In this book, Hall does a fantastic job outlining the importance of storytelling, structures of great stories, and the types of stories for different situations. Even though this book is mainly tailored toward business stories, the same lessons can also be applied to your life stories, whether for a personal statement or a job interview.

Score: 4.5/5

Who Should Read It: People who want to use storytelling to boost their career or business


1. The 4 Keys to a Great Story

  • Identifiable characters: Not all stories need a hero that saves the day. To make customers empathize with the story, the character should be identifiable. In other words, the audience should be able to connect to and care about the character. For example, if you are making a dishwasher commercial, the character can be a tired mom or dad who has to clean the dishes after a tough day of work.
  • Authentic emotion: Authentic emotions are not just emotions that the audiences feel, but also emotions the characters in the story feel. Because people have the ability to empathize with others, if we create a character that audiences can relate to, we simply need to have the character feels a certain emotion to have the audience experience the same.
  • A significant moment: Most storytelling models have a climax that all the previous plots lead up to. For Snowwhite, the moment is when the prince kisses Snowwhite. For Titanic, the moment is when the ship is sinking and Jack and Rose are trying to escape. The same rule applies to your story. The moment can be when the characters start using your product their life change or when you decide to create your product. In a word, the significant moment makes your story interesting and memorable.
  • Specific details: Your story should contain some descriptive and specific details. This is another way for your audience to connect to your story and create their own version of the story in their minds. However, you should be aware that the specific details should serve to enhance the message of your story, not to make it appear longer.

2. The 4 Types of Stories

  • The Value Story: The value story is the most common type of story used in business. It is about the value you offer to your customers. More often than not, people don’t buy the product, but what the product will do for them, in other words, the value of the product. Most commercials we see are value stories.
  • The Founder Story: We love the story of how Steve Jobs drops out of college to start Apple. While it might illustrate the mission or the value the founders believe in, the founder story is essentially about the founder. This story is a great way to humanize the founders and the products.
  • The Purpose Story: Different from value stories, the purpose story is more about the transcendental purpose of the company. For example, Google’s purpose is about making all the information more accessible to everyone. Usually, the story has a clear and concrete message that illustrates the purpose, and the success of a purpose story depends on how well the message is communicated. The purpose story can be very powerful in recruiting and engaging people with the same vision.
  • The Customer Story: Very similar to the value story, this story is about how your product changes the way people live. While value stories can be fictional characters or told by the company, the customer story is often told by customers themselves. These stories are more personal and relatable to the audience and add credibility to your company.

Thank you for reading my summary. If you enjoy it, feel free to check out my other book reviews at https://jackyangzzh.medium.com/