In all organizations, at all levels, we face universal workplace challenges:  How to inspire the team, how to secure budget approval, how to take leadership to the next level. The right stories–personal, authentic, inspiring–can turn these challenges into opportunities. In your Storytelling for Leaders program, Ira Koretsky, The Chief Storyteller ®, shows you how to turn your personal experiences into powerful stories that engage and inspire your stakeholders.

You will apply a universal storytelling framework to develop high-impact workplace stories. Stories to use in development/sales, recruiting, retention, customer service, conferences, you name it. In your authentic way. Results come to both your top and bottom lines.

Your Storytelling for Leaders program is based on real-world scenarios you help define. Everything is designed to be practical and applicable to your organization’s mission, services, and products. Programs are 3, 6, and 12-months in duration. And programs are a blend of on-site training, webinars, in-person coaching, and video coaching.

Read more below for program specifics.

If you are seeking a keynote speaker or one-time workshop, visit Speaking. If you are seeking a storytelling coach, please visit Coaching.

Accelerating Success For 17+ Years

Ira has been coaching, mentoring, training, teaching, and offering consulting services to accelerate your storytelling success since 2002. In more than a dozen countries (success stories, testimonials, customers). In more than 35 cities. With more than 578 customers. Also, he is an adjunct professor, teaching public speaking, communication, and storytelling at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

years in business
happy customers
people inspired
years as adjunct professor
countries with customers
speaking programs delivered

Narratives that cause us to pay attention and also involve us emotionally are the stories that move us to action – Professor Paul Zak, Neuroeconomist, University of Pennsylvania

Program Overview

Great stories invite us in. Great stories connect us with shared experiences. And a great storyteller, transforms these shared experiences into ideas and the ideas into action. Your Storytelling for Leaders program is based on real-world scenarios you help define. Everything is designed to be practical and applicable.

We blend on-site training, webinars, in-person coaching, and video coaching. Programs are 3, 6, and 12 months in duration.

Together, we will develop a customized program to meet your organization’s goals and participant’s needs.

Storytelling for Leaders – Program Details

Below you will find five topic areas detailing The Chief Storyteller®‘s approach to coaching and training.

1 Stories for Every Situation

Your customized Storytelling for Leaders program teaches you how to craft values-based stories that connect and inspire action, for every situation. Your program is based on our Leadership Storytelling Framework TM, taught around the world.

Ira works with each participant to identify, develop, practice, and revise his/her stories for impact and long-term effectiveness. In a safe learning environment, your participants learn what stories work best for each person based on his/her experiences, personality, and leadership style.

2 Storytelling for Leaders Program Benefits

Build your leadership’s capacity for storytelling. Specifically, your leaders will:

  • Increase leadership effectiveness with more effective communication
  • Build stronger teams, accelerate buy-in, and shift mindsets
  • Reshape personal experiences into powerful, high-impact business stories
  • Improve confidence in public speaking
  • Build more profitable relationships with clients and prospects
  • < and much more >

3 Develop a Story Library Filled with Actionable Stories

Great stories invite us in. Great stories connect us with shared experiences. And great leaders tell great stories. Stories that transform these shared experiences into ideas and the ideas into action.

Your customized Storytelling for Leaders program teaches you how to you craft values-based stories that connect and inspire the action you need to achieve your organization’s and team’s goals.  The key to your success is your Story Library. The library is filled with powerful, engaging, values-based stories to use in:

  • Sales/development
  • Building culture
  • Inspiring action
  • Budget requests
  • Handling difficult conversations
  • Nurturing rising stars
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Implementing change
  • Recruiting and retention
  • Onboarding
  • Career growth
  • Performance improvement
  • Board meetings
  • Leadership meetings
  • Conference presentations
  • Panelist/Moderator roles
cover of workbook for storytelling for leaders program, super tall giant of a man standing in a city, for Awaken the Storytelling Giant in You

Sample Storytelling for Leaders workbook

room full of about 1,000 leaders participating in Treat Everyone Like a CEO exercise, for Storytelling for Leaders

Treat Everyone Like a CEO TM leadership exercise

leaders participating in a Storytelling for Leaders workshop, two leaders can be seen reading a story in the workbook

story from Storytelling for Leaders workbook

4 Customized to Your Goals

The Chief Storyteller ® collaborates with your talent development team to customize the best content for your Storytelling for Leaders program. Storytelling for Leaders programs are 3, 6, and 12 months in duration.

Programs start with group training, from one to three days. Then, we customize future storytelling and public speaking modules, which include on-site training, webinars for small teams and the entire group, and personalized one-on-one coaching both in person and via Zoom video.

Based on the coaching sessions with Ira and feedback from your participants and your talent development team, Ira recommends tweaks and changes to maximize learning and impact. The Storytelling for Leaders program includes workbooks, access to a library of more than 100 Smart Exercises TM, tip guides, tools, examples, videos, articles, and worksheets.

More than 30 Storytelling for Leaders modules are available to your team. The modules cover business storytelling, A to Z, and related public speaking topics. Example modules:

  • Signature stories
  • Character dialogue
  • 8 must-have story types
  • Attention-getting opening
  • Storytelling for impact
  • Vocal variety
  • Data Storytelling
  • Speaking enhancements (our secret sauce)
  • The Great Stories Framework TM Fundamentals
  • Better Tomorrow Message TM
  • Repetition figures of speech
  • Messaging on-the-fly

5 Experiential and Hands-On

Your Storytelling for Leaders program offers a high impact experience. It provides a practical and powerful set of training materials and easy-to-use tools to help you be a more effective leader.

Ira knows how to make your learning environment fun, safe, and experiential. He performed improvisational comedy for more than 10 years and delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops internationally. Highlights of your program include:

  • Easy-to-use five-step, the Great Stories Framework TM, which includes the 6 C’s of Storytelling
  • Proven method for uncovering experiences perfect for every situation
  • 8 types of stories
  • 3 quick story types:  Today Story, Purpose Story, and Signature Story
  • Helpful tools such as the Story Library, Analysis of Audience, and Story Evaluation
  • Set of modules on story elements that make good stories, great stories (e.g., anaphora, epizeuxis, and onomatopoeia)
  • Variety of Smart Exercises TM you can practice to build your skills. Practice individually and with colleagues

A Different Kind of Storytelling Coach

Ira approaches coaching differently.

Sometimes he is your coach… offering advice and making suggestions.

Sometimes he is your consultant… providing specific how-to’s on addressing situations, practicing, and developing narratives, stories, and visuals.

Sometimes he is your “professional trainer…” suggesting exercises and activities to help you build, hone, and maintain your skills.

For every situation, Ira will advise and equip you with the skills and tools to be successful, in your own authentic way. As your Storytelling for Leaders coach, he provides BOTH advice (strategy) and hands-on (tactics) help in several skill- and confidence-building categories.

He blends the best of his experiences and expertise from being a consultant, professional speaker, trainer, and adjunct professor. Ira is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, where he earned his MBA. He teaches public speaking, communication, and business storytelling to about 70 honors students. The student final is a five minute, TED-Style Talk.

Effective Stories Are Key to Your Leadership Success

The human brain is wired for stories (Cognitive Psychology, Robert J. Sternberg, Karin Sternberg). Research study after research study, demonstrate stories have a greater impact on us humans, than facts and figures (Harvard Business Review, The Storytelling Animal). Storytelling for Leaders ensures that your:

  • Stories make your ideas more interesting
  • Stories enable you to connect to your stakeholders faster
  • Stories make your data come alive
  • Stories make data more persuasive
  • Stories make your presentations (more) fun
  • Stories inspire people to be better
  • Stories are remembered
  • Stories have a lasting impact


Ira helps you solve a variety of culture, management, leadership, data, and communication challenges with the art and science of storytelling. The main challenges he sees include:

Be Interesting to Audiences
Do your main message and supporting messages resonate with your stakeholders?
Be Understandable to Audiences
Can your audiences pass the “Grandma Test” and understand your points quickly?
Improve Decision-Making Can decisions be made quickly and accurately based on your data, findings, and recommendations?
Open Doors to Leadership/C-Suite Do your stories/presentations/research open doors to senior leadership, opinion leaders, and thought leaders?
Change Behaviors Faster
Are your staff slow to respond to needed changes in policies, procedures, systems, etc.?
Tell the Right Stories
Are you testing different stories to communicate your messages?
Influence & Persuade Are your stories engaging, compelling, and inspiring action?
Motivate & Inspire Are your staff excited about coming to work? Excited about tackling the tough challenges?

Photography Source:  © Copyright 2020, The Chief Storyteller®, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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