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Storytelling Workshops ...


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:

  • PR
  • Marketing communications
  • Corporate blogging and social media
  • Branding
  • HR
  • Executives
  • Employees

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.

Workshops take place over four hours and are designed for eight participants.

Using a core curriculum, we customize the workshop 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 workshop.

The following provides an example of the workshop flow. Keep in mind that this flow will change from tailoring the curriculum for the Alcatel-Lucent’s Channel Partner Team.

The following gives you a “feel” for the high-level flow of the workshop:

  • Introductions
  • Agenda
  • Objectives for the Day
  • Defining Storytelling
  • Why Storytelling Works
  • Storytelling as a Means to Differentiate
  • Voice
  • Classic Storytelling Arc
  • Storytelling Techniques
  • Conversational Language
  • Contrast
  • Anecdotes
  • Bringing out the Humanity of an Organization
  • Show, Don’t Tell
  • Email Communications
  • Presentations
  • 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 workshops bring to the table, a pragmatic approach to communications.

For more information, contact:

Lou Hoffman, CEO
Syreeta Mussante, MD, North America
Mark Pinsent, MD, Europe
Caroline Hsu, MD, Asia Pacific