Storytelling for Professional Impact

Storytelling is the most ancient and primal tool of human communication. Our brains are literally wired to send and receive ideas in the form of stories. This short storytelling course covers how to unlock the power of stories to add impact to communication work. You will learn to define strong and useful ideas for stories, develop effective narratives, and polish your storytelling soft skills for presence and engagement. Topics include universal classic and modern story templates and essential ingredients — characters, places, senses and suspense.

This course is available face-to-face or live online. 

  • Face to face (London) | One day | £675 +VAT
  • Face to face (Dubai) | One day | Media One Hotel | $795 +VAT
  • Live online (Zoom) | Two half-days | 10:00-14:00 London time | $795

Also available on request in US / Asia timezones.

This course runs in English. It is also available on request in Arabic.

Course outline


This module covers how to choose and define a core idea, message or theme that will give a story coherence and impact.

  • Why stories work: the neuroscience and psychology of storytelling
  • Connecting to your audience: the social and interpersonal meaning of stories
  • Choosing and refining your story’s central idea
  • “Red Threads” and “Through-lines” 


This module covers how to develop a narrative concept into an engaging and colourful story.

  • Classical storytelling: the seven universal structures
  • Modern storytelling: Hollywood rules for storytelling
  • Practical storytelling: TED guidance for storytelling


This module covers how to stimulate imagination and emotive connection through the details of your story.

  • Characters
  • Places
  • Senses
  • Devices: suspense, mystery, tension and surprise


This module covers a set of “soft skills” that effective presenters use to draw listeners in when they tell stories.

  • “Priming” techniques to unlock your inner storyteller
  • Voice and body language
  • Audience connection and engagement
  • Tips and tricks for opening and closing
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Meet your trainers

Following are some of the ISOC trainers who regularly lead this course, depending whether you join us in London, Dubai or live online. 

Trainer profile: Will Hardie

Will is a communication strategist, advisor and coach with more than 20 years’ experience working in more than 50 countries. He studied Experimental Psychology for a Master’s at Oxford and later journalism and politics in the U.S. Will joined Reuters news agency as a graduate trainee reporter and took a series of postings in Brussels, Stockholm and Belgrade. As a foreign correspondent he specialised in financial and economic news and reported on a wide range of high-profile breaking news stories. He covered major international summits, interviewed ministers, heads of state, CEOs and other senior executives, and managed regional teams of journalists. Back in London Will co-founded Pinnacle PR, a global communications consultancy, and the International School of Communication, a specialist professional training company. Will is one of the world’s leading communications advisors. He has executed large projects to create communication strategies and systems for national governments and major corporations. For six years, he was the chief advisor to the head of communications in the office of a well-known Prime Minister. He has counselled hundreds of cabinet ministers, senior politicians, CEOs and other senior executives across Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He specialises in executive coaching, media training, crisis communication, strategic messaging and communication strategy development. He has led long-term projects to develop top-level communication strategies for Federal and National governments and written crisis plans and positioning for global top-500 companies. Will is currently based in Dubai where he divides his time between managing ISOC and delivering consulting and training projects worldwide.

Trainer profile: Sarah Cocker

Sarah is a dynamic communicator with over 20 years’ experience in media, finance and business. Her international experience in banking, and as one of CNBC’s key anchors, makes her at ease dealing with leaders and experts from industry, government and academia. A skilled listener and coach, Sarah enjoys working with clients to help them define and achieve their objectives. Her coaching experience includes training blue-chip executives in public speaking and techniques for challenging television interviews. Her international career has given her an understanding of the cultural and working practices in the Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North and South America.

Trainer profile: Chaker Khazaal

Chaker is an award-winning writer, reporter, public speaker, and social media expert. Born as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon, Chaker grew up in the Bourj el Barajneh camp in Beirut where at a young age he participated in several local plays and starred in a film. Then as one of four recipients of the Global Leader of Tomorrow Award, he migrated to Canada and studied at York University in Toronto for a BA in International Development Studies. Chaker is now a strong, engaging and savvy communicator and has applied these skills as an advocate for refugees and aspiring young writers. He is invited regularly to speak at organisations, corporations and governments worldwide including the United Nations, Google, Facebook, and national parliaments, as well as being regularly featured addressing and hosting global conferences. He has published five novels of which two were among Amazon’s Best Sellers lists. Chaker was named Esquires Middle East Man of the Year 2015 and in 2016 was ranked first by Arabian Business Magazine in the 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40. In the same year, he was presented with the Mentor Arabia Award by Queen Silvia of Sweden and Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. In December 2017, Khazaal was awarded the Global Trailblazer, together with Arianna Huffington by New York-based NGO Bridges of Understanding.

What you will learn

After this course you will be able to:

  • Define a theme for a story that serves a specific useful objective

  • Apply insights about the psychology of storytelling to amplify the impact of your stories

  • Plan a structure for your story, with inspiration from classical and modern narrative templates

  • Develop your story with key narrative processes and ingredients

  • Deliver your story effectively in person

Who should attend?

This is a universal course designed for professionals at all levels and in all industries, whose role involves communication with stakeholders and colleagues in the workplace.