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Storytelling for Leaders – Atlas Corps Event

By May 24, 2017August 10th, 2020No Comments
ira koretsky presenting to Atlas Corps, social change leaders from 50 different countries, on the projector is the chinese spelling of Chief Storyteller


In describing Atlas Corps, Scott Beale, Founder and CEO, shares that Atlas Corps is “an international network of the world’s best non profit leaders and social change organizations.  We bring leaders from around the world to serve in the U.S. to learn skills and share their perspectives. And then go back home to create a global network of the world’s best social change professionals.”

I met Scott about three years ago at an even hosted by CRDF Global and my good friend Natalia Pipia. At CRDF Global, I was a trainer and workshop facilitator helping build capacity in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Ukraine in communications, presentation design, public speaking, and business storytelling.

Today was my third time with the Atlas Corps fellows. There were nearly 100 very passionate social change professionals from more than 50 countries (see picture below). My program was “Storytelling for Leaders:  How to Use Stories to Engage, Persuade, and Inspire.”


Two common thoughts were consistent across many of the Fellows:

  1. Passion opens the door to opportunities. Scalability opens the door to investment. Several of the Fellows are doing great things in their respective countries. They were looking for local partners and investors to help them expand outreach. Someone asked a question sparking a lively discussion of passion and scalability. I emphasized investors around the world will always be more receptive to an idea that scales, whether it be for social good or for economic gain.
  2. Find the right balance. Many of the Fellows were tackling sensitive culture, justice, and historical issues.  Some of the issues were heart-breaking and would bring tears to your eyes hearing some of the stories. I encouraged the fellows to share these stories while keeping in mind that tugging on someone’s heart to inspire them to be part of the solution, you must find the right balance of emotion and benefit. In general, people do not want to be overwhelmed with an emotional appeal. They want a reasoned set of arguments with clear benefits. Weave your emotional appeal just enough so that your audience truly understands what is at stake. Empathy over sympathy.

With its fantastic history of excellence, Atlas Corps has built a world-wide reputation, drawing thousands of applications each year (apply here). What it needs most are organizations to host Fellows. Host organizations receive a variety of benefits (learn more).

atlas corps fellows in group shot Photography Sources: Header from © Copyright 2018, The Chief Storyteller®, LLC. All Rights Reserved / Image of the Fellows from Atlas Corps’ Facebook page

Improve (dramatically) your storytelling, public speaking, and communication skills

Photography Source: Atlas Corps
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Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after storytelling coach, global speaker, trainer, consultant, communication coach, and public speaking coach.