Ira Koretsky

CEO | Founder | Army Veteran

Ira Koretsky (bio) is a data visualization and communication expert. His specialty is helping professionals that work in complex, technical positions and where the stakes are high. He regularly works with scientists, researchers, and engineers.

Also, Ira is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business where he teaches public speaking, communication, business storytelling, and storytelling with data.

He helps you communicate more effectively in your writing, speaking, and social media. He has worked for Fortune 50 leaders, non profits, associations, universities, and government agencies around the world (customers, past performance/success stories, and testimonials).

This page focuses on our data visualization service. If you are interested in a keynote presentation or workshop, click here for our Paint by Numbers program.


In every workplace, we face universal challenges: How to inspire our stakeholders, secure budget approval, and win over colleagues. The right stories turn these challenges into opportunities. Using a proven framework complemented by practical tools and templates, Ira shows you how to turn your ideas, data, research, and findings into a story-driven format that is compelling and persuasive.

Research continues to show stories and experiences have a greater impact on decision makers than facts and figures. Stories make data come alive. Stories make your ideas more interesting and enable you to connect to your audiences faster and more powerfully. Stories make data (much) more persuasive. Stories are remembered.


At its core, data visualization is about a person’s skills to communicate effectively. As such, we define data visualization as: “Your ability to communicate complex information in a clear and compelling manner to your stakeholders using a deliberate combination of data, visuals, and stories.”


We’ve designed our services to help you communicate your data and findings that in turn, makes decision making easier and more effective.


  • Analysis of Audience
  • Messaging & Positioning
  • Value proposition / Better Tomorrow MessageTM
  • Identify key questions
  • Identify key objections
  • Identify stories – organization & personal
  • Identify interactions (video, story, question, exercise, etc.)
  • Develop stakeholder / persona profiles
  • The Story FrameworkTM Fundamentals


  • Storyboard
  • Attention-getting opening
  • Inspiring closing
  • Data Storytelling – visuals and charts
  • Talking points & full script
  • Story development
    • Today Stories
    • Purpose Stories
    • Signature Stories

* Full graphic design services


  • Speaking Enhancements (our secret sauce)
  • Master Q&A
  • Increase impact with figures of speech
  • Think faster on your feet
  • Body language (eyes, hands, face, movement)
  • Vocal variety
  • Timing & pacing
  • Practice & rehearse
  • Exercises to build skills and improve confidence


Ira helps you solve a variety of data visualization and communication challenges. The main challenges he generally sees include:

Become Audience-Centered Does your main message and supporting messages resonate with your stakeholders?
Pass the “Grandma Test” Can your audience understand each visual in three seconds or less? Do they seem (regularly) confused by any of your visuals?
Select the Right Visual Are you testing different visuals to communicate your message? Do your visuals immediately convey your intended message?
Minimize Visual Clutter Are stakeholders confused by one or more elements (e.g., image, icon, word, visual, arrow, graphic, and chart) in your visuals?
Use Effective Colors Do the colors complement your message? Do the colors confuse your audience? Are the colors readable?
Improve Decision-Making Can decisions be made quickly and accurately based on your data, findings, and recommendations?
Influence & Persuasion Are your data visualizations engaging, compelling, and inspiring?
Access to Leadership Do your presentations/stories/findings open doors to your leadership team, opinion leaders, and thought leaders?

One of the most important aspects to the success of the program were the pre interviews. Ira spent time with each participant getting to know them and getting to know their important issues. When it came time for Ira to conduct the training, his research was appreciated by everyone in the room. His examples, stories, and exercises were are all customized to my team’s needs and what I wanted the learning opportunities to be. Over the past few months, I have seen positive changes in our team effectiveness due to his training program and my executive team’s reinforcement of the key take-aways.

Employee (name withheld)United States Federal Government

I was so appreciative of the effort you made to do your homework. Our business isn’t easy for an outsider to understand. Your pre-interviews and homework really made a difference. The presentation was relevant and interesting. Most importantly, I came away with specific suggestions that I could incorporate immediately – without having to buy into a brand new way of going about my day.

Nicole HalloranBusiness Development Manager, Appleton Coated

I was in Ira’s session at VETS2015 and could not leave the room! Everyone hung on to every word. I said to myself, “I need to get Ira to speak at my other conferences!” We did. Ira was fantastic, again! Attendees hung on every word (again). He delivered his messages on better communications and storytelling while challenging them in a good way. Ira ended his keynote with his “Treat Everyone Like A CEO” exercise — a BIG hit. To see 950 people laughing, smiling, and communicating created a very positive atmosphere and set the tone for the rest of the conference. Ira hit “a home run.”

Earl MorganDepartment of Energy, Conference Manager

Ira Koretsky made me look good. I recommended him as a personal development speaker at our annual meeting in Denver. As one of ten concurrent sessions, this type of program generally pulls about 100 participants, tops. More than 400 people showed up for Ira’s session and stayed. The real estate industry relies on strong personal relationships and trust. Increasingly, demands make it easy to lose sight of this. Several industry legends told me that Ira’s program was something of an intervention, putting them back on the game where it belonged—with people. Thanks, Ira!

Ann OliveriSenior Vice President, Strategic Development, The Urban Land Institute

Ira did a phenomenal job for us as speaker and moderator at our Innovation Conference in Berlin in 2007. Ira truly understand the value of storytelling in communicating value to the marketplace and evangelizing new ideas internally.

Andres JordanVP, North America, Deutsche Telekom, Berlin, Germany

Ira has spoken at several ASAE & The Center’s Great Ideas Conferences and he always receives very positive feedback from attendees. His speaking style is very engaging in that he provides a good mix of audience interaction and formal presentation. Anyone who attends his sessions will walk away with new ideas on how to approach relationship building, networking, business storytelling and much more. I would highly recommend him to speak at other conferences and events!

Megan DenhardtSenior Manager, Learning, ASAE & The Center

Ira has a unique and captivating way of looking at how organizations communicate–what they are doing today and what they should be doing. He engaged our participants with relevant ideas and made very practical suggestions that we could all use the next day.

Pete K.United States Federal Government

We had this excellent program inside our agency that was designed to improve the health of communities/cities across the United States. After conducting telephone calls and visiting cities, we came to realize that neither our organization story or messages were compelling. The Chief Storyteller partnered with our team to help us develop a unified set of communication materials that would inspire both the community leaders and leaders within our agency. Within just six months, we had everything we needed! And within a year, we were able to secure additional funding to help even more communities.

Lewis B.United States Federal Government

When I was the executive director at IWPA, Ira rocked the house at our annual conference. When I transitioned to NWPCA, Ira was my first and only choice for our sales-themed annual leadership conference. Ira’s keynote on blending storytelling and selling inspired our members. He challenged them to think deliberately (his catch phrase) about how they message and communicate their brand stories. I knew he would deliver another fantastic program, and he did.

Brent McClendonPresident/CEO, National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA)

Your executive storytelling program was the key reason I chose to attend the overall event. In fact, it was somewhat of a life altering experience for me! I thoroughly enjoyed and valued your teaching moments and wisdom. You not only shared excellent insight but you made it interesting and fun! I recognize how critical this skill is to ensure I am a more influential leader primarily for my organization’s and team’s sake.

Juanita W.United States Federal Government

Ira did a fantastic job with this public speaking and story telling workshop the Atlas Corps Fellows. He engaged a diverse and professional audience of nearly 70 leaders from over 50 different countries and after a four-day training on Marketing and Communication skills, Ira was the favorite presenter for the majority of the Fellows. He is fantastic!

Scott BealeFounder & CEO, Atlas Corps

Photography Source:  iStock