We conducted our first storytelling workshop for PayPal in 2011.
The premise was simple.
The idea that telling a story by the classic definition in which there’s a beginning, an end and something going horribly astray in the middle, doesn’t work in 90 percent of business communications. Instead, it’s about applying storytelling techniques in that 200-word vignette or that one-minute answer to the journalist’s question or that presentation.
By virtue of conducting the workshop so many times over the years, we’ve honed the curriculum into a modular form that can address any one of the following audiences:
- Marketing communications
- Corporate blogging and social media
For example, a workshop for executives might spend time on how to humanize the narrative while a session focused on PR professionals might emphasize storytelling techniques in media relations. For HR, the workshop might be built around the communications that drive the various touch points of the recruitment process.
We have storytelling workshop trainers in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific, including trainers fluent in Chinese.
Of course, the COVID-19 situation prevents us from conducting in-person workshops for the time being, so we’ve reshaped the curriculum into three one-hour training sessions delivered remotely using Zoom.
As with our traditional workshops, we customize these sessions not only by audience, but also by each client’s needs. Part of this “tailoring” comes from participants completing light homework prior to the actual sessions.
The following gives you a “feel” for what the high-level flow might look like for this training package:
- Defining Storytelling
- Why Storytelling Works
- Storytelling as a Means to Differentiate
- Classic Storytelling Arc
- Storytelling Techniques
- Conversational Language
- Bringing out the Humanity of an Organization
- Show, Don’t Tell
- Email Communications
- Closing Discussion
It’s not realistic to think business professionals can be the next Spielberg or Hemingway.
With that said, business professionals can absolutely improve their communications by applying the same storytelling techniques that the master storytellers use. That’s what our storytelling trainings bring to the table, a pragmatic approach to communications.
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