Storytelling for Influence

Craft a narrative to motivate and inspire
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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 create a story brief, explore different mediums, and create multiple versions of your story to gather feedback from others. Get storytelling tips from IDEO practitioners and work on tone, style, and timing to engage your audience.

Course Outcomes
  • Inspire and motivate others toward action through powerful speeches and presentations.
  • Express your ideas clearly, visually, and impactfully.
  • Gather feedback to refine your narrative by prototyping and testing your ideas.
  • Tell stories your audience wants to hear, and take people on an emotional journey.
Course Themes
Narrative Creation Story Prototyping Audience Engagement
Price
Regular price
$599
Sale price
$599
Unit price
per 
Start Date
Quantity
Duration 5 Weeks
Time 4 Hours/Week
Format Cohort Course
Download Syllabus

What You'll Learn

Week 1: Introduction

Get a brief course overview, explore the science of storytelling, and choose your story theme.
Watch a sneak peek
  • The Power of Storytelling
3 Video Lessons
  • How this Course Works—Your learning road map
  • The Power of Storytelling—Motivate people toward change
  • The Science of Storytelling—What makes stories stick
1 Assignment
  • Identify the Story You Want to Tell—Choose a theme and a related story you want to tell. These will provide you with the basic building blocks for your work throughout the course.

2 Discussions
  • Think about the challenges in your work today. What's one way storytelling can help you address them?

  • Think back to a time when a story really moved you. What made the story powerful?

Week 2: Develop Your Blueprint

Zero in on your audience, their needs, and the most powerful way to format your story.
3 Video Lessons
  • The Brief—Know thy audience
  • The Big Idea—Focus is key
  • The Medium—Ways to convey your story
1 Assignment
  • Develop Your Blueprint—Now that you've chosen your story topic, think about your audience, their needs, and the best way to tell them your story.

2 Discussions
  • Think of a time you empathized with another person or group of people. How did empathizing impact you? What insights did you gather once you stepped into someone else's shoes?

  • As you crystallized what you wanted to say into a brief and big idea, what challenges did you face? What felt uncomfortable? What felt right?

Week 3: Build Storytelling Prototypes

Get your story out of your head and into the hands (and minds) of others for feedback.
3 Video Lessons
  • Build Storytelling Prototypes—Creative ways to battle the blank page
  • Ways to Prototype & Build your Story—Low-risk ways to share your story
  • Invite Feedback to Strengthen Your Story—Iterate, iterate, iterate
1 Assignment
  • Prototype Your Story—Now it's time to prototype your story. This helps us get our ideas out of our heads and into the world. Follow our three steps: build, share, and reflect.

3 Discussions
  • Tell us about a time you learned from an early failure. How did that failure help you move forward?

  • Who's your hero or heroine? What made you look up to that person? How did his or her values shape who you are today?

  • In a few sentences, tell us about prototyping your story. What challenges did you face? How did you overcome them?

Week 4: Design for Impact

Increase your ability to engage and inspire others through the development of tone, style, and timing.
4 Video Lessons
  • Setting the Right Tone—Why tone is everything
  • Learn from a Presentation that Falls Flat—What not to do
  • Learn from a Presentation that Moves You—An invitation to imagine
  • 6 Tips for Story Impact—From good to great
1 Assignment
  • Iterate Your Story—Choose two of our 6 tips for story impact to enhance your story and make it more compelling.

5 Discussions
  • Share a video or article where you think tone strongly influenced how the story was told. What qualities or attitude did the tone convey? How did tone impact the way you received the story?

  • Share one of your letters with the community. What are your talking points? What feeling did you want to inspire in the recipient?

  • What did you notice about the presentation that fell flat? What tone-related adjustments would have made it better?

  • What was different about the second presentation? Did it motivate you? Compare and contrast the two presentations.

  • Think back to where you started—is there anything that surprised you regarding how your story has changed over time? Did you have any "a-ha!" moments?

Week 5: Conclusion

Get advice from Jenn on practicing and perfecting your storytelling skills, and bring your story to life using the style, tone, and a medium of your choosing.
1 Video Lesson
  • Course Conclusion—Go create impact
1 Assignment
  • Final Project—Bring your story to life in your chosen medium and share with the community for feedback.
2 Discussions
  • Submit an artifact or video, using your own tone and style, declaring yourself a storyteller.
  • What was the most revealing moment for you in the course? How will you apply what you've learned to a current challenge in your life or work?

Meet Your Instructors

Jenn Maer

Design Director at IDEO

Jenn leads brand strategy and storytelling work with clients including Marriott, Mattel, Snapple, and Microsoft. She’s taught classes on brand and storytelling and spoken at SXSW and other events. Jenn is an award-winning writer, with recognition from The One Show, Core 77, SPARK, ADDY, and IDSA.

More About Jenn

Collaborate with a Global Community

Loved by Learners Across the Globe

Ina Jubert
Ina Learning Architect Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Denise Engel
Denise Manager, People Insights Dolby
Marc-Andre Singer
Marc-Andre Founder & Managing Director FORSPIRE
Dani Plumb
Dani Video Content Specialist Quark Expeditions
Storytelling for Influence
Cohort Course

“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.”

Ina Boston, MA
Storytelling for Influence
Cohort Course

“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.”

Denise San Francisco, CA
Storytelling for Influence
Cohort Course

“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.”

Marc-Andre Zürich, Switzerland
Storytelling for Influence
Cohort Course

“This course is more effective than other professional development courses I've taken because the coursework is fun and digestible. The lessons also take a reasonable amount of time to complete, which is perfect for any busy professional.”

Dani Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Go Deeper with Certificate Programs

Storytelling for Influence is part of two certificate programs:

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