Course Outcomes

This business storytelling course for leaders will:

  • Explain how stories can build organizational culture, share experiences, and convey values.
  • Help leaders identify storytelling opportunities.
  • Introduce a three-prong approach to using stories at work.
  • Sharpen the story-crafting and storytelling skills of all who attend.

Course Overview

A great story can engage employees, build loyalty among customers, and strengthen the culture of an organization.  No matter the goal, strong leaders know how to harness the power of stories to their advantage. This course explores the value of stories, reasons to use them, methods for collecting tales, narrative patterns, character construction, and delivery skills.  During this session, participants will also learn how to plan a story inventory and begin building a library of narratives.  The group will also learn the art of story spawning and the importance of story hearkening.  By the conclusion of the workshop, those who attend should understand how to leverage their stories and others’ stories for a variety of purposes.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the value of storytelling at work.
  • Explain when and how leaders use stories.
  • Align supporting narratives with leadership goals.
  • Identify the elements successful stories share.
  • Mine their experiences and the experiences of others for meaningful stories.
  • Choose an appropriate narrative structure.
  • Create vivid characters and descriptive settings.
  • Use their voices and bodies to enhance delivery.
  • Build an easy-to-reference story library.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

From a Parietal Past to the Modern Day: The Story and Its Role in a Community  

In the cave painting’s heyday, people used stories to communicate.  Since then, not much has changed. Our ancestors depicted scenes of drinking and dancing, religious rites and burials, hunting scenes, and other moments that captured the essence of their civilization.  In this opening workshop segment, we will look at a brief history of storytelling, discuss the impact stories can have on a culture, and identify current examples of successful storytelling in business.

Lead Me a Story: How Leaders Use Stories

From storytelling to story spawning to story harkening, effective leaders know how to use these tools to achieve a host of objectives: branding, prompting action, transmitting values, encouraging collaboration, sharing a vision, defining the customer experience, and managing change.  During this part of the course, we will look at a three-prong approach for leveraging narratives in the workplace. Participants will learn the value of each tool and spend time identifying opportunities to deploy them.

Picking a Plot: Planning with Purpose

In this part of the course, participants will explore narrative structures and practice working with Business Training Works, Plot Points: Story-Crafting Prompts. During this exercise, the group will use the materials provided to build short, purposeful business stories.  Next, they will practice delivering one or two of them to the class.

Fleshing Out Details: Building Strong Characters and Rich Surroundings

“As he stole a glimpse of the text, his stomach split in half.  Few people possessed the power to slice through his gut with a single sentence, but her acerbic words worked like knives.  In that moment, he vowed he would scour the earth for a new place to hang his hat each morning. She’d have to find another assistant to lacerate. He was done.”  Consider that description versus: “She sent him a hurtful text, and he decided to quit.”  What a difference a few details can make! Leaders who craft great stories know to paint pictures in the minds of their listeners. During this program component, participants will practice several techniques for using stylistic devices and building robust scenes and three-dimensional characters. 

Delivery Tools: Getting the Most from Your Body and Other Aids

At this point in the course, participants should understand how they can use stories to support business goals, they should understand three ways stories can achieve various objectives, and they should have a basic understanding of the story-crafting process.  This module focuses on delivery.  Through a series of exercises, participants will use their bodies, voices, and other tools to enhance the way they tell their tales.  

Keeping a Library: Knowing What You Have

You can’t use a story if you can’t remember, you can’t find it, or you’re not quite sure how it fits into a business goal.  This part of the course introduces a system for gathering stories, storing stories, and identifying needs for new stories.  Participants will practice completing a template to organize the stories they’ve created during the session.  They will also review their business objectives and identify any messages for which they do not have a solid illustration.  

Tell It Again: Let’s Practice

The final part of the course provides participants with an opportunity to retell a story or craft a new narrative that incorporates the techniques discussed throughout the day. During this wrap-up activity, participants will receive peer feedback and individual coaching from the facilitator.

By the end of this course, those who attend should have a solid grasp of the power of storytelling in business and how as leaders they can develop and deliver narratives to achieve wide-ranging goals.