Storytelling for Influence
“Great stories tell us something about what it means to be human.”
—Jenn Maer, IDEO Design Director
Storytelling for Influence
Whether you need someone to support your organization, invest in your idea, or get excited about following your lead, refining your storytelling skills can help. In this online course, you'll learn storytelling tips and techniques from IDEO practitioners. You'll create a story brief to identify your key stakeholders, their needs, and your big idea; explore different mediums for telling your story and create multiple versions to gather feedback from others; and work on tone, style, and timing to better engage your audience.
This course will help you craft a compelling narrative, inspire others to follow your lead, and connect with diverse audiences. Gain feedback from a global community inside the course and walk away with confidence in your ability to motivate people toward a vision and make meaningful change in the world through storytelling.
ADVANCED DESIGN THINKING CERTIFICATE
Deepen your design thinking skills, advance your practice, and receive the Advanced Design Thinking Certificate by completing the Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate plus Storytelling for Influence, Unlocking Creativity, and your choice of either Designing a Business or Human-Centered Service Design.
Introduction Learn about the science of storytelling and choose your story theme.
- Get a brief overview of how the course works.
- Choose a story theme that will guide the development of your story throughout the course.
- Discussion: Think about the challenges in your work today. What's one way storytelling can help you address them?
Develop Your Blueprint Identify your key stakeholders, their needs, and your big idea.
- Identify your audience, the big idea (key takeaway) of your story, and choose the medium.
- Discussion: Think of a time you empathized with another person or group of people. How did empathizing impact you? The group? What insights did you gather once you stepped into someone else's shoes?
- Activity: Write your story brief.
Build Storytelling Prototypes Get your story out of your head and into the hands (and minds) of others for feedback.
- Get tangible and comfortable with sharing ideas that are in progress.
- Discussion: Think about a time you learned from an early failure. How did that failure help you move forward?
- Activity: Prototype your story, share the draft, reflect on feedback.
Design for Impact Develop your tone, style, and timing to better engage your audience.
- Make your story more human and inspirational by adding your secret sauce—your voice, your emotion, your perspective, and your vision.
- Discussion: Reflect on a recent presentation that moved you. Did it motivate you? What inspired you? What worked? What didn't?
- Activity: Iterate your manuscript or storyboard and start prototyping in your final medium.
About the Course Community
Learn from Jenn Maer, Design Director at IDEO
Jenn's career as a storyteller began at age seven when she penned (well, actually, penciled) her first novel—a 75-page, double-spaced, spiral notebook tour de force entitled “Shark!”
Since then, she's worked as an agency Account Planner, Copywriter, and Associate Creative Director. She's helped tell the stories of clients like HP, Oregon Chai, Microsoft, Red Envelope, and Snapple. Her writing has been recognized by The One Show, Clios, and others.
As a Design Director at IDEO, Jenn leads brand strategy and storytelling work with an equally diverse group of IDEO clients, including Marriott, Mattel, ConAgra, and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
“The '6 tips for Story Impact' is an invaluable tool that I will continue to use. Plus I LOVED the videos.”
Kiva Fellow and Freelance Designer
“Storytelling for Influence has inspiring content, great structure, and flexibility to fit my busy life.”
Global Insights Manager, Google
“The course is fantastic and done in a very smart way.”
Business Development Manager, Oracle
“The course taught me things I can use in my work, and in everyday life.”
Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
“It's an easy and engaging format to learn and practice new skills. To build, share, and get feedback makes it tangible and gives you a sense of what works and what doesn't.”
Founder & Managing Director, FORSPIRE
“I am absolutely thrilled with the result that I obtained with my work. The process helped me to truly hone in on the important elements of the story so that I could produce a result that is full of impact and completely aligned to the work I am doing.”
Learning Architect, WW Sales Enablement, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
“I found the design and content so useful. As someone who spends her days in an office, I sometimes need refreshing outside influences to help think in different ways. This course was engaging and tactical. I walked away with real steps I can take to continue to get better.”
Manager, People Insights, Dolby
Why Take Storytelling for Influence
Storytelling is an essential tool for creativity. This course can help you get past the powerpoint slides and make your stories and presentations more impactful. Learn to engage your audience—whether it be your colleagues, clients, or a stadium of onlookers—and motivate people toward change by telling stories that sound and feel unmistakably human. Catalyze people toward action and start creating impact through the power of storytelling.
This Course Will Help You
- Learn to express your ideas clearly, visually, and emotionally.
- Determine the big idea (or key takeaway) of your story.
- Prototype and practice your story by testing out your ideas and gathering feedback as you refine your narrative.
- Tell stories your audience wants to hear and take people on an emotional journey.
- Craft your own story or presentation.
- Create impact through your story.
Sneak Peek of the Course
See how IDEO worked with the Chicago Fire soccer team to inspire fans and increase attendance using the power of storytelling.