Story for Communications

The course

Engage your teams, help your leaders lead.

This professional development training, brought to you by experts in storytelling, will help your team master the science and psychology of story to improve internal comms and leadership.

Each session over the four weeks will provide practical ways of using story to unite a workforce, countering common issues like silos, poor communication, resistance to change and demotivation.

By the end of the course you’ll have a real-world action plan, plus a kit of practical story tools that work like magic in every role and workplace.

Share work with peers and get individual tutor feedback, as well as group Zooms.

As this counts as CPD training, participants may be able to get funding from an employer. You can book a place on the course as an individual, or block-book a class for your team.

Meet your course director

John Yorke

John Yorke is widely acknowledged as the UK’s foremost expert on story, and his book Into the Woods is the bestselling book on the subject in the UK. John’s worked on some of the world’s most lucrative, widely viewed and critically acclaimed TV drama, from EastEnders to Shameless, Life on Mars and Wolf Hall.

Richard Benson

Meet your course director

Richard Benson

Richard is ‘one of Britain’s leading cultural commentators’ (The Guardian), a prizewinning writer and bestselling author. Richard’s memoir was shortlisted for The Guardian’s First Book Award, chosen for Channel 4’s Richard and Judy’s Book Club and BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and was a number-one bestseller.

In partnership with John Yorke Story

Accessible, industry-focused CPD training and consultancy for professionals at any stage of their career. Online learning led by BAFTA-winning John Yorke, author of bestselling book on story structure Into the Woods.

How it works

We give you the theory in the form of videos, podcasts, written lectures and reading extracts. In the case of our live workshops, this includes a live online seminar.

You put it into practice by completing the writing assignments.

You share your work with the small group of fellow writers and the teaching team.

Your tutor and fellow learners read your work and give professional-style feedback on your submission. Giving feedback notes helps to build your skills as an editor - a critical part of the writing process.

You reflect on the exercises with the group and share what you’ve learned.

You use what you learned from the feedback and discussions to review your work and improve it.

Things to know

Story for Communications is for anyone involved in internal communications.

It shows how to use the science and psychology of storytelling to motivate, engage and unite employees, with practical ways to apply story skills to enhance group-working and staff retention, encourage strong leadership, and improve change management and problem-solving in the workplace.

The training is suitable for:

  • HR professionals
  • Team leaders
  • Those transitioning from management to leadership
  • Organisations undergoing change or developing new ways of working
  • Remote teams seeking ways to increase ‘togetherness’
  • Those looking for more effective ways to communicate at work and grow their creative skills
  • Anyone who can dedicate 3 hours a week to the learning (at a time to suit them)

This professional development training gives participants the story skills to:

  • Build stronger teams, motivate and retain people
  • Gain a competitive edge
  • Solve business problems
  • Identify communication issues and silos
  • Tell better brand stories
  • Nurture workforce creativity
  • Communicate your corporate strategy internally
  • Develop transferable professional skills (discipline, attention to detail, ability to work to deadlines) Increase professionalism in working with others and in networking
  • Give effective feedback to peers and receive critical notes
  • Build greater independence, autonomy and critical judgment as participants self-direct, self-manage and realise a final project to the course brief.

Session 1: Why Stories Mean Success – We introduce the science of why stories unite groups and show how leaders in successful businesses use them to bond staff and encourage strong leadership. Examples from Patagonia, Dove, Ritz Carlton, BBC. This session is also about getting to know the other participants in the group.

Session 2: Find Your Company Story – Learn how to find your organisation’s story — and easy ways to align it with corporate strategy and plans in a way everyone can connect with. Examples from Coca-Cola, Braun, NHS, Starbucks. We’ll also look at empathy and how to enthuse staff using story ‘hooks’.

Session 3: Characters in Your Story Team – Why everyone should have their own role in a company story, and how to use story science to establish roles, build teams and combat internal in-fighting. Examples from Mars Foods, Olympic Team GB, Lego – and the Spice Girls. Pull together an ideal department team as if casting a heist movie, and look at practical ways to empower individuals to use their personality to grow the company story together.

Session 4: Overcoming Obstacles with Story – How companies become stronger by engaging with and overcoming problems, the power of the external threat, and why the most successful teams are united by a common enemy. Examples from Apple, M&S, Amazon – and Jurassic Park.

Story techniques include practical ways to tackle the biggest problems in internal comms: silos and poor communication, change, and demotivation. By the end of this week you’ll have an action plan for improving three key problems in your company’s comms.

At the end of the course you submit this real-world plan for an individual written tutor feedback report.

Join our alumni

After your course, you can join our online alumni community where you’ll meet our growing network of past students. You’ll be able to.

  • Rejoin your classmates in a private forum
  • Continue to access an archived version of your course materials
  • Meet alumni from other courses and share work for feedback
  • Join discussions about screenwriting, script editing and the industry
  • Attend live chats with guest writers and industry folk

Mentoring and one-to-one feedback

The John Yorke Story tutor team offer mentoring, script reads and reports. We are happy to quote by job or script, or to arrange a longer mentoring scheme as you work on a specific story idea. We’ll create a package to suit you, so for more information please email [email protected]

Taking things further

If you’d like to take another John Yorke Story course, we’ll give you a discount. Please get in touch for more details.

The team

Meet your course team

John Yorke

Narrative expert

John Yorke is widely acknowledged as the UK’s foremost expert on story, and his book Into the Woods is the bestselling book on the subject in the UK. John’s worked on some of the world’s most lucrative, widely viewed and critically acclaimed TV drama, from EastEnders to Shameless, Life on Mars and Wolf Hall.

More about John Yorke

Richard Benson

Richard Benson

Business Storyteller

Richard is ‘one of Britain’s leading cultural commentators’ (The Guardian), a prizewinning writer and bestselling author. Richard’s memoir was shortlisted for The Guardian’s First Book Award, chosen for Channel 4’s Richard and Judy’s Book Club and BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, and was a number-one bestseller.

More about Richard Benson

Chay Collins

Moderator

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