The principles of a powerful story.

Learn to identify, capture and structure compelling stories that will connect with your audiences. You’ll leave this session with an understanding of the principles of a powerful story, and techniques to spot and collect stories through story-eliciting questions, identifying powerful storytellers and other methods. You’ll be able to master the art of storytelling and use clear, relatable and persuasive stories to engage your audiences.     

What you'll learn

  • What makes a good story

  • Key principles for good storytelling techniques

  • Practical tips for delivering a powerful story

  • Strategies to effectively end your story to enable audience interpretation

  • Four steps to mastering storytelling:

    • Ways to discover good stories that reflect your cause

    • Tips to remembering stories

    • Powerful ways to share stories for maximum impact

    • Refreshing your stories to adapt to different audiences and contexts

  • Examples of memorable stories and best-practice techniques

Additional Resources & Articles

Stories Worth Telling
This is a useful resource for non-profits, it looks at five essential building blocks of compelling stories, strategic story cycle, as well as at the culture of storytelling and the future of storytelling.

5 Ways Charity: Water Uses Storytelling To Inspire More Giving
Good stories provide an emotional bridge between people in need and the potential donors. Here’s the five key lessons for how to tell them. 

Frame stories for change
This guide outlines five core principles to frame stories for social change and tips to improve your communication tactics for social change.

Telling a good innovation story
This article by McKinsey acknowledges the vital role storytelling can play in communicating innovative ideas so that they are heard, understood and appreciated. “Storytelling has always been important in business, of course, but in today’s environment, with executive and investor attention stretched thin by information overload, the softer stuff is ever more important for getting ideas noticed.”

The Secret to Better Storytelling for Social Change: Better Partnerships
Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools for activating people. This article by Stanford Social Innovation Review highlights the power of data to inform strategy, how to cast the right characters in your story, plus provides case studies for effective storytelling.

Navigating The World of Non-Profit Storytelling
"Stories" — the kind that people remember and respond to — "chronicle a character who undergoes some kind of change or transformation." This infographic looks at the ways non-profits are using storytelling to engage their audiences. 

5 Fundamental Techniques of Good Storytelling
This article outlines the five key elements of a good story, including context, outcome, creating the experience, brevity, and conflict.

Storytelling For Social Change
This piece from Nat Kendall-Taylor, CEO of Frameworks Institute, is a short and punchy reminder of the five principles for anyone involved in communication for social change.

Identifying The Right Format for Your Story
Wondering when to use copy, images, video or audio to best tell your story? This article shares the best ways to reach the right audiences with your stories.

Putting Stories to Work
The award-winning business book by Shawn Callahan—Founder of Anecdote and Collaboration Partner for this module—about Mastering Business Storytelling. At its heart, this book is a process for becoming a good storyteller. You can read an excerpt of the book here and purchase it on Anecdote or Amazon here.

Storytelling: 7 Tips for Charities
"When it comes to communicating your impact, show the audience how your work has changed someone’s life forever." Here are Momentary’s top tips for telling stories for not-for-profits.

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Collaboration Partner


Shawn Callahan

- Founder & Director, Anecdote.

Shawn is the award-winning author of Putting Stories to Work, podcast host of Anecdotally Speaking, and one of the world’s leading business storytelling consultants. He is the founder of Anecdote, the world’s largest business storytelling enterprise that operates in over 20 countries in 6 languages. He works around the world helping leaders find and tell their stories so their message is clear and memorable.

Course Handouts