Storytelling For Business



Stories are one of the most powerful ways we can build meaningful relationships and influence behavior. Storytelling has become a critical skill for creatives and marketers to get our messages heard by both users and stakeholders. In this day-long, highly interactive workshop, we’ll walk through the what makes for a compelling story and practice telling stories that relate to your business problems. This workshop is focused on stories in a business setting, but you can translate what you learn to any story.


Stories are one of the most enduring ways we have to make meaning of the world around us. Our human brains crave stories, so much so that we make them up when we don’t get them. We use stories to communicate, to connect, and to persuade. But far too often, we don’t harness the power of stories to get a business message across. Whether you’re designing a presentation, writing some web copy, or scripting a video, there’s both an art and a craft to storytelling, and we’ll cover both in this workshop.We’ll explore the art of storytelling and practice the craft as we dig into the elements that make a satisfying story and break down examples from the world around us. Then, we’ll work through a series of practice-makes-perfect exercises to help you construct and tell your own stories for better business communication.

Here’s a bit more on what we’ll learn:

  • Understand what happens to our brains when we engage with stories
  • Identify the elements that make a compelling story
  • Explore how audience affects a story
  • Be inspired by examples of compelling storytelling in business presentations, videos, websites, and social media writing
  • Examine ways to use stories to solve business problems
  • Practice storytelling using a real business problem from your daily work

Prerequisites – None.

Who Should Take This Class

This workshop is for anyone in design, marketing, advertising, and digital communication where the art of persuasion, storytelling, and relationship-building is essential.

Detailed Class Outline

10:00 – 10:15
Icebreaker and Intros

10:15 – 10:30
The why of story
Our human brains crave stories, so much so that we make them up when we don’t get them. But why? We’ll take a brief look at stories as a survival tool. Then, we’ll look at the neurological principles behind why stories still matter. And finally, we’ll look at why stories are so effective in communicating a message, persuading people, changing behavior and driving action.

10:30 – 11:00
So, what is a story, anyway?
Everyone knows a good story when they see it, but a story in a business setting doesn’t always work like a story in a Hollywood movie. We’ll break down some definitions of story and look at the elements that you’ll need to create a successful story — a character, a problem or a friction, emotion, meaning and change — using real-life examples from videos, presentations, and websites. We’ll also explore why audience is such a crucial factor in storytelling for business or action.

11:00 – 11:30
Story structure
You’ll hear that all stories have a “beginning, middle, and end”; but that’s just one way of thinking about story structure. In this section, we’ll also look at frameworks for conceptualizing story structure. In a small group, you’ll work together to tear down a story from your world and look for the story elements and structure that make it work: identify the audience and the audience context, and then we’ll work through the elements that make the story successful for that audience.

11:30 – 11:45

11:45 – 12:15
Story goals in a business setting
In a business setting, there are a few common reasons we’d want to tell a strategic story: to sell an idea or a concept, to set a vision, to energize a room, to educate and empower people. We’ll look at stories in each scenario. Then, you’ll identify problems from your work that you could solve with a story, choose one, and determine the goals for your personal story. You’ll also identify your audience, and detail out what they’re thinking, feeling, and doing. For this portion of the project, you’ll work individually on a story and get peer feedback in small groups.

12:15 – 12:45
Framing content for an audience
You should have a solid map that helps define the context of your audience. You should also have a good sense of what your story needs to do. Now, using a Think / Feel / Do framework, we’ll map out the ideal state of your audience after interacting with your story. Then, we’ll look at the types of stories, emotions, and structures that can do the job you need done, including common story drivers and how they apply to content.

12:45 – 1:30

1:30 – 2:00
Developing the meat of your story
Half the battle is won with the strategy for your story in place. Once you have the strategy for your story, you’re now at the part in which you can think about story types and structures. We’ll identify a character, define the problem, and use the situation / complication / resolution framework to map out the content for your personal story that achieves your goal.

1:45 – 2:00
Style and showbiz
Voice and tone, word choice, presentation style, and design all have an impact on your story. We’ll look at some of the tricks you can use to engage your audience with style and showbiz.

2:00 – 2:15
Avoiding the pitfalls
Story can be a magical cure-all if used correctly, but what if it’s not? Like any tool, story has dos and don’ts of usage. We’ll run through some common pitfalls of story and talk through some of the plagues for storytellers, such as frontloading the exposition, losing sight of the goals, and forgetting to use a unifying structure.

2:15 – 2:30

2:30 – 3:30
Showing and telling
It wouldn’t be storytelling without a chance to show off your story ideas. Volunteers from the audience will talk through their stories. As a class, we’ll give feedback and help hone and refine the ideas.

3:30 – 4:00
Wrap up, Q&A, and evaluations

You may receive a partial refund of your tuition if you drop a class or your enrollment is terminated by SVC due to lack of progress or disciplinary problems. In these cases, this is the schedule for determining the amount of your refund:

Cancellation and Refund Policy for Classes:

SVC will refund all money paid if the student is not accepted. This includes instances where a class is cancelled by the school.

SVC will refund all the money paid if the student cancels within five business days (excluding Sundays and holidays) after registration and/or an initial payment is made, as long as the student has not begun training.

SVC will retain the established $45 registration fee if the student cancels after the fifth business day after registration and/or making an initial payment.

If training is terminated after the student enters classes, SVC may retain the registration fee established under (3) of this subsection, plus a percentage of the total tuition as described in the following table:


# of Classes Attended

% Tuition Refunded

0 100%
1 75%
2 50%
3+ 0%


# of Classes Attended

% Tuition Refunded

0 100%
1 90%
2 75%
3–5 50%
6+ 0%

When calculating refunds, the official date of a student's termination is the last day of recorded attendance:

(a) When the school receives notice of the student's intention to discontinue the training program; or,
(b) When the student is terminated for a violation of a published school policy which provides for termination; or,
(c) When a student, without notice, fails to attend classes for thirty calendar days.

All refunds must be paid within thirty calendar days of the student’s official termination date.

There is a $75 cancellation fee for no-shows and enrollees dropping a one-day workshop without a valid excuse within 3 business days of the scheduled start time as published on the SVC website.

This refund policy is in accordance with Washington State Law, 490-105-130 (RCW 28C.10.050 (1)(b)).

School of Visual Concepts

SVC helps people already in the business of marketing, branding, design, UX, and content creation fill in the gaps in their knowledge through public full- and half-day workshops and custom corporate workshops.

If you’re looking to add to your portfolio or fill in some blank spaces in your brain, you can’t do much better than SVC.

The instructors are all top-notch working professionals who bring real world and big brand knowledge into the classroom. Our thinking is that the best people to teach you something aren't teachers. So, instead of a full-time faculty, our classes and workshops are taught by working professionals. More often than not, these are people at the top of their game, not wannabes or used-to-be-best. The connections you'll make with these pros can sometimes be as valuable as the material they'll teach you.

All this happens in an environment of friendliness, helpfulness and encouragement. Might this have something to do with the fact that 99% of SVC students say they’d recommend us?

We’re 100% certain that it does.

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Reviews of School of Visual Concepts

(5 Reviews)
Garth P.
Let's see... you could spend $400 on the newest iProduct, which will be unsexy and outdated within months of its unboxing, or you could spend $400 on making your brain permanently bigger, sexier, smarter and more creative. I can honestly say that I would not be in the job I'm in - nor anywhere near as successful at what I do - without the skills I learned at SVC. Whatever class you're considering or on the fence about taking: TAKE IT. You'll be a better person for it. I've taken classes nearly every quarter since graduating from UW in 2011, and I'd say that I now use more knowledge that I gained at SVC than UW in my everyday work as a Digital Marketing Manager. When you walk into SVC, you're walking into a place with good, everyone-is-here-to-improve-themselves-and-meet-­other-creative-peeps vibes, and it feels more at home than a typical classroom. I can't say enough good things about SVC or how it has enabled and enhanced my career and personal pursuits. Take a class there and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about as you sign up for your next three.
Randy J.
This School is a treasure for Seattle. The teachers are all working in their fields and so students can meet people and learn from the real deal. My daughter took classes here for a year and a half and was never disappointed in the teaching. These classes are meant to increase skills at current jobs or prepare you for a new area. I am not a designer but decided to take a beginning drawing/creativity class at SVC and the teacher is WAY above and beyond what I expected in terms of thinking about creativity and thinking about your emotions and roadblocks to creativity. Plus they have a snack bar that is over the top!!
Nio S.
First off, this school is simply amazing. Don't fooled by the size of this campus because the quality of the knowledge aquired here is unmeasurable. I have taken the HTML/CSS classes both level 1 and 2 courses. The instructors that teach here are actual working professionals outside of the school. So in many ways this benefits the student because the teacher is up to date with their skill set aside from a full time teacher who only knows whats written in text books. I first came to my HTML/CSS class thinking it was gonna be boring with just coding. is just coding but its code that I truly understand and get a grasp of to my own advantage. Each of these classes were only once a week for 5 weeks. The amount of knowledge given in one night is so crazy and unbelievably not overwhelming. In the end, you know more than you did before.
Panda B.
I love SVC! Thing I like the best is that all instructors are practicing designers so you will not be getting the "academic" perspective but rather the point of view of designers working at actual top-notch design studios around Seattle. I've been taking classes for over a year and every single one has been fantastic. Students tend to be professionals so the attitude is serious and focused which enables you to get the most out of each class. On top of that, staff at the school is fantastic and will do anything to help you achieve your goals (they helped me with my portfolio which helped in landing me my new job). If you are looking for a way to upgrade your design skills, this is the place for you.
Kenny P.
My experience at the School of Visual Concepts has been amazing. It's the perfect school for those of us who have a full time job, but still want to improve our skills. The teachers are all professionals in Seattle so it's really nice to be taught by people that are still at the top of their game. The class sizes are also pretty small so you'll get to know your instructor very well and get some great individual help. You do not have to be an artist to benefit from the classes here. I took a creative thinking seminar once that has helped me in every job I've had. If you are thinking about going back to school, you should give SVC a call or stop by to see how they can help you get to where you want to be.