Using Strategic Storytelling to Captivate Your Audience

Course description

Storytelling is central to human existence. We tell stories to make sense of our lives, to share information, to connect across time and space. Stories can influence, caution, excite, and inspire. They can also change attitudes and catalyze action. This highly interactive workshop will explore the use of storytelling in a business environment, interweaving neuroscience research, real-world examples, and — of course! — stories.

Who should attend

This course is targeted toward anyone who wants to leverage dramatic structure and key elements of storytelling to:

  • Deepen the connection with their audience.
  • Amplify the impact of their message.
  • Catalyze action.

What you will achieve

  • Articulate why stories are uniquely positioned to change attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.
  • Explain key findings from neuroscience regarding how our brains respond to stories.
  • Identify a “master story” and business goal to drive retention and recall of a message.
  • Utilize dramatic structure to logically organize a narrative.
  • Incorporate critical story elements to enhance the impact of a story.
  • Create an annotated story board for a business message.
  • Pitch a story to an audience.

What you will learn

Course Prework
  • Assignment: The Moth Story Library
  • Explore the library and listen to a story that interests you. Be prepared to discuss in class.
Course Outline
Setting the Stage
  • Workshop Goal and Objectives
  • Opening Activities
    • Partner Introductions
    • Spectrogram
  • Participant Expectations
Module 1: Storytelling: An Art and a Science
  • Why Do We Tell Stories?
  • Making Meaning Through Narrative
  • The Neurobiology of Storytelling
    • Oxytocin and Empathy
    • Adrenaline and Dramatic Tension
    • Dopamine and Resolution/Reward
  • Leveraging Brain Science to Hook Your Audience
Module 2: Creating Your Content
  • Exploring Your “Master Story”
  • Setting Your Business Goal
  • Activity: Identify Your Master Story and Business Goal
  • Using Logic to Organize Your Story
    • Story-Driven versus Premise-Driven Narratives
    • The “Premise-Proof” Approach
    • Freytag’s Pyramid — Dramatic Structure
  • Employing Critical Story Elements
    • Relatability
    • Novelty
    • Fluency
    • Tension
  • Activity: Create a Story Board for Your Narrative
Module 3: Captivating Your Audience
  • Analyzing Your Audience’s Needs
  • Tailoring Your Message
  • Adding Media to Your Story
    • Guidelines for Visual Composition
    • Creating Effective Transitions
  • Keeping Your Audience Engaged
  • Activity: Annotate Your Story Board
  • Crafting Your “Elevator Speech”
  • Activity: Pitch Your Story!