Tell better corporate stories with this creative-writing training program
As ad giant David Ogilvy famously said, “Nobody ever sold anybody anything by boring them to death.” Most organizations seem to have missed that memo.
“Ann transformed my writing in a mere 12 hours.”
— Brent Buchanan, communication, advocacy & political professional, Cygnal
Read more rave reviews
But at Master the Art of the Storyteller, you’ll learn how to engage readers with a great story, as well as other creative elements like concrete details, description, wordplay and metaphor.
What you’ll learn in our storytelling workshops
In Ann Wylie’s storytelling training workshop, you will learn how to:
Master the Art of Storytelling
It’s “the most powerful form of human communication,” according to Peg Neuhauser, author of Corporate Legends and Lore. Indeed, stories can help you grab attention, boost credibility, make your messages more memorable — even communicate better.
In this session, you will learn how to:
- Find, develop and write stories that engage readers’ hearts and minds.
- Elicit juicy stories with the key question to ask during an interview.
- Organize your material into a powerful story in just three steps with our simple storytelling template.
“Very eye-opening. Who knew you could teach an old dog new tricks? I was humbled.”
— Larry Nuffer, manager, corporate communications, CDC Small Business Finance
Color Readers Fascinated
Talk about a superpower:
- There’s a 1:1 correlation between concrete words and understanding.
- Concrete phrases are 400% more memorable than abstract ones.
- Concrete details change people’s minds — and their decisions.
In this session, you’ll learn how to:
- Write like a roller coaster: Are you losing them in the middle? Test your message so you can spot and fix the boring parts.
- Keep them reading longer: Where to sprinkle “gold coins” throughout your message to keep readers engaged.
- Go from blah to brilliant in 15 minutes or less: Quick ways to add concrete detail to even the most tedious topics.
“The research Ann provided is going to go a long way in helping me support the strategic communications work I do!”
— Emma Cochrane, communications and government relations coordinator, NOVA
Play With Your Words
There’s a little piece of your brain — it’s called the Broca’s area — that’s responsible for helping you sort through all of the many messages you get each day. Well-worn phrases and familiar ideas don’t activate it. Plain old ’splainin’ won’t. But creative techniques like wordplay do.
In this session, you’ll learn how to:
- Tickle your readers’ Broca’s area — and cut through the clutter of competing messages — with wordplay.
- Go beyond twist of phrase: Learn to flip phrases; compress details; sub soundalikes; list, rhyme and twist — even coin new words.
- Find online tools that do most of the work for you: Walk away with links to some of the best (free!) wordplay resources — as well as ideas for how to use them.
“I am a better writer today than I was two days ago.”
— Chelsea Didde Rice, communications specialist, Ascend Learning
Make Magic with Metaphor
It’s tempting to call metaphor the magic spell in a writer’s repertoire, the Penn and Teller of the page.
Metaphor has the power to persuade far better than literal language. It lets you say in five words what would otherwise take five paragraphs to explain. It makes readers’ brains light up, helps them think more broadly about your message — even (ahem!) makes you look more attractive.
But, as with other forms of magic, you will want to master a few tricks before you step onto the stage:
- Get the zombies out of your message: Don’t let Dead and Dead2 metaphors eat your readers’ brains.
- Craft a compelling metaphor with our fill-in-the-blanks formula.
- Polish your metaphor: Learn which kinds of metaphors to choose, which to avoid and where in your message to place them from 50 years of research.
“I loved every nano second. I gained my youthful confidence back. I can’t wait to get to work tomorrow!”
— Gary Burris, public relations director, Tec Labs
Paint Pictures in Readers’ Minds
Want to stimulate some brain activity around, say, your CEO’s latest strategy or that brilliant Whatzit you’ll be releasing later this month? Description is the answer.
In this session, you’ll learn to:
- Make your readers’ brains light up with description.
- Dig up descriptive details: Try WBHA, the most overlooked reporting tool there is.
- Tune in to sensory information: Use our travel writer’s tip for going beyond visual description.
“Ann inspired me to exorcise the dusty demons of my journalism career and embrace a livelier and more agile writer within.”
— Laura Ingalls, senior manager, communications, PetSmart Charities
Think Outside the Pyramid
You wouldn’t tell the Cinderella story by leading with the bottom line: And they lived happily ever after. It’s a sad fact: Storytelling and the inverted pyramid are mutually exclusive.
In this session, you’ll:
- Deconstruct case studies to learn a structure that will help you make all of your messages more fascinating and engaging.
- Organize your story in six easy pieces with our fill-in-the-blanks template.
- Walk away with award-winning lead examples to model.
“Fantastic! Often times, I come to these workshops and speakers give good ideas but aren’t always scalable to a company as large as the one I work for. These tips are relevant regardless of audience size. So helpful!”
— Angelica Kelly, lead consultant, internal communications, AT&T
Choose from these formats for Ann’s business storytelling training courses:
- In-house training programs: Bring Ann in to train your whole team with on-site or online courses.
- Public Master Classes: Build your own blog writing skills when you attend one of our writing workshops near you.
- Association workshops: Bring Ann to your conference or chapter for a keynote, breakout session or professional development program.
I’m ready to learn to write compelling stories!
I’d like to:
- Book Ann for an in-house or association workshop.
- Browse all writing workshops.
- Learn about our writing coach, Ann Wylie.
Questions? Contact Ann.