Storytelling for Change

Improve your public speaking by uncovering and communicating your personal story

Course Details

  • Price: FREE
  • Start Date: OCT 10, 2017
  • Time: 3 hours/week
  • Duration: 8 weeks
  • Partner: Ariel Group

What You’ll Learn:

  • Understand the four dimensions of the “Leadership PRESence” framework and how it can enhance both your storytelling and your leadership skills
  • Gain and apply important storytelling techniques, such as expressiveness, use of sensory details, body language, and more
  • Understand successful presentation structure and apply the “Audience, Benefit, Goal” framework to improve your presentation
  • Practice developing and sharing your personal story
  • Learn the five steps for integrating your personal story into a larger presentation
  • Share your presentation for feedback and reflect on potential areas for further improvement


This is a hands-on course where you will develop your own personal story, integrate it into a larger presentation, and record it for feedback from your classmates. You’ll leave this course with a leadership presence framework, important storytelling tools, and a rehearsed presentation that can help you better connect with your audience and inspire change.


Project-Based Course

Course Syllabus

Download (134.43 KB)
  • 6 reading guides
  • 5 workshop guides to help you develop your story and practice the various skills of a storyteller
  • 15 videos featuring Ariel Group storytelling and leadership coach, Greta Cowan, and others
  • Supplemental resources
Section 1: Introduction to Storytelling
  • Video: Introduction to Storytelling
  • Video: Storytelling Example - Inspiring a Life of Immersion
  • Reading: Importance of Storytelling
  • Reading: Understand the Different Types of Stories
  • Activity: Life Map Exercise
  • Activity: Prepare a Presentation Plan
Section 2: Storytelling and Leadership PRESence
  • Video & Reading: Introducing the PRESence model
  • Video: How to do an EQ Check-In
  • Video: Examples of Personal Stories
  • Activity: Worksheet for Identifying Your Story
  • Activity: Team EQ Check-In
  • Reading: How To Provide Feedback on a Story
  • Activity: Share Your Personal Story
Section 3: Story Content, Form, and Expressiveness
  • Video: Storytelling Techniques
  • Video: Expressiveness in Storytelling
  • Reading: More Feedback Tips and Checklist for Expressiveness
  • Activity: Share Your Revised Personal Story
Section 4: Getting Ready to Present
  • Video: Demonstrating How to Integrate Your Story into a Presentation
  • Reading: Successful Presentation Structure
  • Reading: “Audience, Benefit, Goal” Framework
  • Activity: Apply the “Audience, Benefit, Goal” Framework to your Presentation
Section 5: Putting it All Together
  • Video: Passionate Purpose Demonstration
  • Video: Effective Body Language Demonstration
  • Reading: Importance of Passionate Purpose and Body Language
  • Reading: Storytelling Feedback Grid
  • Activity: Rehearse & Record Your Story
Section 6: Reflect and Look Forward
  • Reading: Building a Personal “Library” of Stories
  • Activity: Develop a Personal Action Plan

Course Partners

The Ariel Group works with Fortune 1000 businesses and social sector leaders to build critical skills in the areas of leadership development, communications, team building, change management, and coaching and development. The Ariel Group has worked with Acumen staff and fellows since 2008.

What People Are Saying

Mario Ferro, Co-Founder of Wedu

"After participating in the course, we made a deliberate decision to abandon our old style and to fill our presentations with stories, and that totally changed the perspective and emotional reaction of the audience."

Mario Ferro, Co-Founder of Wedu