Book Review: Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over


In principle, I agree with everything that the author advocates in Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over. Communication (and PowerPoint!) is about telling a story that resonates (see Book Review: Made to Stick) not bombarding people with data, facts, and figures.

The author, editor really, emphasizes the need to tell a story and she peppers the book with a lot of stories, which is good. But, I found the whole book in and of itself to be devoid of a compelling story.

Now, perhaps it is because, in this case, she was "preaching to choir," that I didn't feel like I needed to read the whole thing, but I didn't get pulled into the "story" of the book.

If you aren't convinced at all that stories, as opposed to hundred bullet point PowerPoint slides, are the way to go, then go ahead and get this book (from the library!).

Otherwise, while there are some good anecdotes out there, I've seen better examples of ways to convince people of the power of stories in the Conceptual Age.

Comments (5)
  1. In principle, I agree with everything that the author advocates in Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over

  2. Doug says:

    I hope that you are not proposing to leave out important facts.

    The old saying goes, "Don’t confuse me with the facts."

    Emotional stories that appeal to gut decision making can lead to bad descisions.

  3. MSDN Archive says:

    A very valid point. I think the key is to integrate the accurate, relevant facts into the story.

    You can have the same content, it’s a question of presentation.

  4. Karen Dietz says:

    Hi — just remember that the intent of this book was not to lay a foundation for using stories in organizations (been there done that — see books by Steve Denning, Annette Simmons, Evelyn Clark), but to focus much more on the tangible results companies generated using stories, along with practical guidelines.  Even Microsoft participated!  

    This is also a book where companies themselves talked about their experiences.  The book also reflects the wide range of applications for stories and is a significant contribution to the field of organizational storytelling.  Unfortunately, it can’t be all things to all people.  If you really want to know who’s doing what with organizational stories, the results they’ve achieved, and the pointers they have for you, then this book fills the bill.  Enjoy!

  5. There are two sides to the ROI equation for today’s conference. On the one hand, we generate positive,

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