The art of telling stories is the secret to success in life, law and business. Storytelling is the most effective means of changing minds and lives. But recognizing the centrality of storytelling to advocacy is not enough. Anyone interested in the art of storytelling should also study the basic structure and elements that apply to stories, how they work and why, as well as the principles that have guided great storytellers for thousands of years.
Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling shows you how to convey information in a cogent, persuasive way to decision-makers who make the final call. In doing so it utilizes portions of famous real-life court transcripts and television scripts, as well as a one-hour DVD with snippets of material from Emmy Award winning actor Michael Badalucco. Part prescriptive teaching, part memoir, always entertaining and never lecture, this package provides storytelling lessons gleaned from years of trial practice and television writing, wrapped in great stories.
Introduction by Jonathan Shapiro:
The stories in this book are all true.
But that did not convince television executives that they actually happened.
Many of the stories in this book involve cases I investigated, tried or otherwise handled as a federal prosecutor. I later wrote and produced television scripts based on a number of them. Considered together, they offer a personal but practical guide to storytelling.
If the book sometimes reads like an excuse to tell stories rather than as a manual on how to tell them, then I have done my job. Stories are meant to be instructive and entertaining. Stories that are instructive but not entertaining are called lectures.
Herodotus claimed that he wrote history so that great events and the lives of great men would not be forgotten. Many of the storytellers in this book are no longer with us. But their stories remain.
Finally, I note that other books have been written about storytelling. Many are more scholarly than this one. Indeed, some are downright unreadable.
If dry is what you would want, you have other choices.”