Storytelling for Change

Improve your public speaking by uncovering and communicating your personal story

Course Details

  • Price: FREE
  • Start Date: Feb 13, 2018
  • 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

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  • 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: Sharing Your 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
  • Reading: Leadership Presence Framework
  • Reading: Identifying Your Story
  • Activity: Reflecting on Leadership Presence
  • Activity: Share Your Personal Story
Section 3: Story Content, Form, and Expressiveness
  • Video: Storytelling Techniques
  • Video: Expressiveness in Storytelling
  • Reading: Techniques of the Storyteller
  • Reading: Expressiveness and Vocal Range
  • Activity: Practicing Your Expressiveness
  • Reading: Feedback Criteria for Storytelling
Section 4: Getting Ready to Present
  • Video: Demonstrating How to Integrate Your Story into a Presentation
  • Reading: Keeping Your Presentation Focused
  • Reading: Props and Visual Aids for Your Story
  • Reading: Relax, Breathe, and Involve Your Audience
  • Reading: Successful Presentation Structure
  • Activity: Audience, Goal, Benefit
Section 5: Putting it All Together
  • Video: Passionate Purpose Demonstration
  • Video: Effective Body Language Demonstration
  • Reading: Passionate Purpose
  • Reading: Body Language
  • Reading: Rehearsal Techniques
  • Activity: Passionate Purpose Exercises
  • Activity: Rehearse and Present
Section 6: Reflect and Look Forward
  • Reading: Building a Personal “Library” of Stories
  • Activity: Develop a Personal Action Plan

Course Partners

Ariel is a communication training company and registered B Corporation that empowers organizations to have true influence. Ariel believes that solving business challenges starts with improving strategic communication skills. Ariel's blended solutions leverage cutting-edge technology and experiential learning to ensure that people write, speak, and sell with impact and emotional intelligence. Ariel uses methods across our learning arch that ensure lasting change and drive business forward. Ariel's holistic approach to communications is trusted by clients across the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Ariel 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