Make Your Data and Research Actionable

As storytelling and public speaking experts, we show you how to improve dramatically your impact as a presenter, trainer, educator, expert, and leader. We help you re-frame your approach to developing presentations and public speaking. This re-framing starts with an engaging and compelling story. Our Data Storytelling program encourages a different way of thinking.

Why? Because data has no voice. No context. No ability to persuade. Only you do. You are the voice. Therefore, data should never be the focus of your presentation. Rather, data should provide the foundation for your presentation.

The Chief Storyteller ® makes your data and research actionable.

Our Data Storytelling blends consulting, training, and coaching to meet the needs of your team. Please find below details on all aspects of your Data Storytelling program.

Effective Stories Are Key to Your 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). Data Storytelling program ensures that your:

  • Stories make your ideas more interesting
  • Stories make your data come alive
  • Stories make your presentations (more) fun
  • Stories enable you to connect to your audiences faster
  • Stories inspire people to action
  • Stories accelerate decision-making
  • Stories make data more persuasive
  • Stories have a lasting impact


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

Be Interesting to Audiences
Do 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?
Accelerate Decision-Making Can decisions be made quickly and accurately based on your data, findings, and recommendations?
Access Leadership
Do your stories/presentations/research open doors to decision-makers, opinion leaders, and thought leaders?
Tell the Right Stories
Are you testing different stories to communicate your messages?
Select the Right Visual Are you testing different visuals to communicate your message? Do your visuals immediately convey your intended message?
Inspire, Faster Are you using stories effectively to inspire action?

the Great Stories Framework

Your engagement follows our Great Stories Framework TM.  This framework is based on more than 15 years of experience working across more than 35 industries, and in nearly a dozen countries. We customize the engagement to your organization, your culture, your teams, and your goals.

storytelling with data process, 5 steps, 1 know your audience; 2 promise a better tomorrow; 3 storyboard presentation; 4 develop narrative & visuals; 5 inspire action

The Chief Storyteller® – Since 2002

Ira Koretsky, The Chief Storyteller ®, has been coaching, mentoring, training, teaching, and offering consulting services to accelerate your communication success since 2002. In 14 countries (success stories, testimonials, customers). In more than 35 cities. With more than 578 happy customers. With over 36,000 people inspired. Ira is also an adjunct professor, teaching public speaking, communication, and data storytelling at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

If you are seeking a keynote speaker or a one-time workshop, visit Speaking. If you are seeking consulting services on a specific project, visit Data Storytelling services. If you are seeking a storytelling coach, please visit coaching.

Data Storytelling 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 Data Storytelling program is based on real-world scenarios you help define. Everything is designed to be practical and applicable.

We show you how to capture your audience’s attention with a compelling message, authentic to you. A compelling message wrapped in an engaging story, supported by your data and research. A message that inspires action.

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.

Your Data Storytelling program shows you exactly how to develop a story-centered presentation. A presentation supported by compelling visuals and data. A presentation you will confidently deliver. A presentation you will build faster and more confidently. And a presentation that will inspire action.

Program Details

Below you will find five topic areas detailing The Chief Storyteller ®‘s program.

1 Transform Expert Opinions into Actionable Insights

All too often, we see data scientists, quants, engineers, economists, Ph.D.s, etc. spend their valuable time and money making accurate charts. With this accuracy, comes unnecessary complexity, challenging visuals, and lengthy explanations. Together, they reduce the presenter’s effectiveness.

We want you to focus on the story and message, not the data visualization. As such, we define Data Storytelling 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.”

2 Data Storytelling Program Benefits

Specifically, your participants will:

  • Be (significantly) better and more effective communicators
  • Develop better presentations, faster
  • Accelerate buy-in and shift mindsets with tailored success stories
  • Think on their feet faster to handle objections with relevant stories
  • Reshape personal experiences into powerful, high-impact business stories
  • Improve confidence in public speaking
  • Create story-driven presentations that inspire action

3 Develop Presentations with Actionable Messages

Great stories invite us in. Great stories connect us with shared experiences. And a great communicator, transforms these shared experiences into ideas and the ideas into action.

Your customized Data Storytelling program teaches you how to you craft presentations with compelling organizational stories and personal values-based stories that connect quickly with your stakeholders. Stories that are easy to understand. And stories decision makers will respond to quickly.

cover of workbook for storytelling with data program, executive presenting at table, black and white, with numbers to copy the style of paint by numbers

Sample Data Storytelling workbook

storytelling with data exercise, writing stories for his/her presentation

Data Storytelling exercise

storytelling with data exercise, executives discussing his ideas on stories, data, and visuals

Developing their Story

4 Customized to Your Goals

The Chief Storyteller ® collaborates with your leadership and training team to customize the best content for your Data Storytelling program. Your Data Storytelling program can be 3, 6, or 12-months in duration.

Programs start with group training, from one to three days. Then, we customize future storytelling, presentation, 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 training team, Ira recommends tweaks and changes to maximize learning and impact. Your Data Storytelling program includes workbooks, access to a library of more than 100 Smart Exercises TM, tip guides, tools, examples, videos, articles, and worksheets.

More than 40 Data Storytelling modules are available to your team. The modules cover data storytelling, A to Z, and related public speaking topics. Example modules:

  • Story Mapping
  • Character dialogue
  • Focus attention
  • Storytelling for impact
  • Messaging on-the-fly
  • Data Storytelling
  • Prototyping
  • Handling Q&A with Stories
  • Great Stories Framework TM Fundamentals
  • Better Tomorrow Message TM
  • Repetition figures of speech
  • Attention-getting opening

5 Experiential and Hands-On

Your Data Storytelling program offers a high impact experience. It provides a practical and powerful set of training materials and easy-to-use tools to help your team accelerate presentation development and improve (dramatically) presentation/public speaking effectiveness.

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

  • Easy-to-use five-step, Great Stories Framework TM, which includes the 6 C’s of Storytelling
  • Proven method for uncovering experiences perfect for every situation and objection
  • 3 main types of stories: 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
  • Workbook with worksheets, tools, examples, exercises
  • PDF of the presentation

A Different Kind of Coach

As part of your Data Storytelling program, you select the coaching participants. Ira develops a coaching program to complement and extend the concepts and ideas shared in the training and consulting services, as described above. Ira offers coaching in a safe learning and feedback environment.

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, handling Q&A, 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 storytelling 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 Data Storytelling coach, Ira provides BOTH advice (strategy) and hands-on (tactics) help in several skill- and confidence-building categories.

Ira 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, business storytelling, and data storytelling to about 70 honors students. The student final is a five minute, TED-Style Talk.

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