Next Round Coming Soon!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Great news! We've just received a commitment from the publisher of the next book club selection.

We'll be making the official announcement to current club members via email next weekend (June 4th).

We'll also post information for those NOT already in the club, so they can join and participate.

Hang on. Things are about to get very interesting!


Tell To Win Club Reviews

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story

Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story. Peter Guber. Crown. 272 pages. 

This most enjoyable and enlightening book is a must read for anyone who negotiates, sells, motivates or interacts with others in the social and business world. Marvin Stein, Coral Springs

I found this book to be well written and easy to understand.  It teaches the reader how to tell a story that will win over their audience.  While not talking down to you, it never assumes you have all the answers, either.  I would recommend it to others. Terri Bryant, Davie

Hurray for Mr. Guber in recapturing the lost art of the past. It is an art that will distinguish your point of view from others. Enrique J. Ventura, Jr., Cutler Bay

While many of the stories in Tell to Win were interesting, I found the endless storytelling to be boring. As I read, I had this sense that Guber wanted to show the world that he has a first-name relationship with many successful people across multiple industries and disciplines. Did the book deliver what it promised?  I answer that in the affirmative. Could he have done it in far fewer pages?  Absolutely. But then we would have missed out on knowing who Guber knows. Claudette J. Spence, Flushing, NY

This book lays out a very strong argument for the power of telling a compelling and emotionally engaging story in its first two chapters.  Unfortunately, after that, it becomes a tedious, name-dropping, anecdote-filled tome that only seems to benefit the author’s large ego. Albert Sanchez, Coral Gables

Overall, I enjoyed the book. The author delivered on his message about telling stories to inspire action. This is exactly what it did for me as it opened my eyes to realize all the times I have been inspired after hearing a motivating story. Osvaldo Valdes, Sunrise

Very useful information told in anecdotal format makes everything easy to remember. I tried this technique, resulting in success in my latest project.  Would recommend this book as this applies to almost everything in life. Sandra Pollack, Coal Gables

Guber, who built an extremely successful career in the entertainment industry, clearly has an extraordinary amount of gumption and imagination, as well as a prodigious gift of gab. Amid an entertaining and eclectic series of anecdotes (as well as a lot of name-dropping), he teases out some tangible suggestions. Unfortunately, the book itself doesn’t feel like a particularly cohesive narrative. It’s somewhat repetitive and not all that well-organized; some of the stories recounted feel a bit tangential to the theme. It feels, quite literally, anecdotal. Readers whose eyes start to glaze over after awhile (as mine did) may choose to simply skim the book for stories they find particularly engaging. Barbara Pierce, Miami

The section at the end of each chapter barely saved any value that this book had for me. The stories were all about the rich and famous that almost all audiences wouldn’t be able to relate to or get anything beneficial from. Bob Preziosi, Davie

The book is very easy to read, you can read it while watching TV or even while playing video with your little kid, as I did during some pages. It seems that the writer just needed to write about something in order to reach the 250 pages required to be considered a book. The idea to tell a story during a pitch or speech is fantastic, but hardly new; I have been doing it for years and with great success. Alejandro Silvestre, Miami

The broad colorful range of characters depicted in Gruber’s book is impressive; from presidents to CEOs they all seems to have a vulnerable side that can be boosted with a story; the right one of course. It is all about the important to personalize the story for the event. It is about making the emotional connection with the audience. Doron Zilbershtein, Miami

My favorite motivational story teller in this book is Coach Pat Riley because when he speaks, you can actually feel you are at one of his games, even with your eyes open, just by absorbing his words, his powerful message clearly speaks to you and goes directly to your emotions. You are one with the story and smiling alongside a champion in just a few pages. Trisha Molina, Miramar

The stories were interesting at first, but then started getting repetitive. It didn't seem like this book gave you any tools to become a storyteller to win. At most, it gave you bits and pieces of tools scattered throughout the book. There didn't seem to be a central theme or thread to this book, just stories about famous people simply for the entertainment value of it. This book is more a story of Peter Guber's life than it is a business book with takeaways for the typical business book reader. Frank Donn, Miami

The stories were entertaining and sometimes instructive, but I think the book could have been much shorter to get its point across. As a book for business people below the level of CEO or Chairman I think the book misses the mark. He uses milestone events going back nearly forty years and a lot has changes in business since then; the pace and competition just two. The author is clearly accomplished and his many admirers vouch for his credibility. I will certainly take something away from reading the book and continue to think his methodology over and try to find ways to incorporate it into the lower level struggle to get ideas heard and executed. Asmar Madyun, Plainfield, NJ

Tell To Win is a wonderful book about storytelling told as a story. That sentence recaps how I feel about book. Tell To Win is not the first book that I have read about the power of storytelling. But it is the best. but effective. In light of the simplicity of the message, I believe that the book could have been shorter while maintaining its effectiveness. Some of his points drag on a little too long. Carlos Calderin Dalton, GA


Perfect pitch: Tell the right story and succeed

Peter Guber and his band of tale-spinners show you how to persuade with a winning yarn.

Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story 

Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story. Peter Guber. Crown. 272 pages.

Who’s Peter Guber? If you want to do a quick Google search, please do. I’ll wait until you get back.

Finished? Guber’s carefully manicured Wikipedia listing is on top, then some links to this book, and some lectures and such. Dig a little deeper and another story appears, displaced from the top rankings, recounting an interesting and diverse career with plenty of ups, downs, miscues and missteps. There’s also an link for an earlier book — not by him — called Hit and Run, about the reign of Guber and his former partner, Jon Peters, atop Columbia Pictures. (The accompanying Amazon reviews are laugh-out-loud hilarious, by the way.)

Guber also had a turn working with the late and legendary (and not always in a good way) Neil Bogart at Casablanca Records, where his arrival appended “and Filmworks” to the company’s nameplate. The pair enjoyed a rather colorful run, producing successful movies and films along with the requisite number of flops and failures. Again, use Google if you’d like to drill deeper into their colorful Casablanca curriculums vitae.

Despite — or because of — his contentious past, an older and inevitably wiser Guber leveraged his experience (and wealth) into a varied and rich career, twenty years on. He’s got plenty of his own tales to tell, having evolved into a well-respected entrepreneur, investor and pundit (you might have caught him with editor and erstwhile executive Peter Bart on AMC’s now-canceled Sunday Shootout gabfest).

The premise of this new book is that everyone loves a good story, so it’s the ideal way to pitch anyone on anything. It’s the perfect marketing tool. This is not new; I‘ve read and reviewed many other books saying exactly that.

What differentiates Guber’s rap is his inclusion of celebrities (and others) from a diverse group of industries and professions — and their stories. He’s gathered tales from Pres. Bill Clinton, Deepak Chopra, Pat Riley, Steven Spielberg and many other lesser-known lights.

Of course, Guber also includes his own sundry tales of triumph and woe; fortunately, Guber is undaunted in mentioning a few of his own setbacks, though he carefully treads clear of anything too negative or revealing. (Hey, it’s his book…)

The question, of course, is what’s in it for us, the readers. (That’s always the question, isn’t it?)

Is there enough stuff here for us to use in our own careers and lives? If so, how do we integrate Guber’s ideas and those of his expert tale-tellers into what can we say and do to buy and sell?

In this, you’re on your own. Though Guber doesn’t offer step-by-step tips for doing so, there are enough examples embedded throughout the text so that most of us can figure out how to use storytelling to connect with people based on their needs and our goals. Keeping it real is important, as authenticity is always critical.

Now, as I end ten and half-years of covering business books in this space, I look back on my first, The Cluetrain Manifesto, which declared that marketing is a conversation. It still is, and I’m sticking to that story.

Originally published in The Miami Herald.


Bad News and Good News

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happy Saturday!

Bad news first: On Monday, you'll see the last of my business book reviews in the Miami Herald for now. (I say "for now" because you never know, but this is the last one that I know of.)

I was informed by the executive business editor that it's due to budget and space constraints, which is what I was also told in the fall when the weekly column was reduced to a monthly book club. Not a big surprise, if you follow the newspaper biz, but a disappointment, no less, after ten and a half years. (First weekly review column was September 2000).

I'll continue to do monthly graphic novel reviews for the paper until I get a similar message from that editor. It's not a matter of "if" but "when," I'm sorry to say.

It was great while it lasted. A decade+ is something to be proud of and I am. I still love the paper, have friends there, read it every day and want it to survive. If my departure helps it survive, so be it.

Good news: The book club continues! It will be much better! Really! I'm excited! (Can you tell?)

In a couple of weeks, you'll get an email announcing the first round of the reborn club. You can respond or tell me to pound sand. (Your choice!)

It'll be online-only with a dedicated web page. We will no longer be constrained by the Herald's cutting-edge ’90s technology. (Don't get me started!) We'll have room for longer reviews from you. I'll still edit them a bit, but mostly for style and clarity, and not space.

I'll also be able to include author links, videos, interviews and other stuff (tba).

I'll also guarantee that everyone who asks to review a book receives one to review (within reason, of course). That's big, right there! No more shut-outs!! Cool.

In order to do this, there will be a small fee to participate, probably $12 per round. That feels right. (Of course, the books you'll receive to review are usually valued about twice as much as that, so it's still a great "deal," if you want to look at it that way.)

The $12 will cover postage and shipping materials, and my time doing all this; things the Herald use to cover — more or less. (I work cheap, unfortunately).

There'll be a Paypal and credit card thing so it will be easy to do. No worries!

You WILL be able to see your reviews online (yay!) and we won't have to do the monthly "hope, pray and scavenger hunt" to find them as we did with the Herald. (Hopefully, we won't have that on Monday for the final book club reviews. Oy!)

That's the story. One door closes and another opens. Or in this case, a browser window opens. And no more dead trees.

I love the book club and if you do, too, let's keep it going and make it better!

Thanks for reading. Thanks for writing. Thanks for making this possible.


Richard Pachter


Watch this space!


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