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COM 120 — The Art of Effective Storytelling: Techniques and Secrets

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jun 23—Aug 25
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jun 25
Units: 2
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $560
Instructor(s): Marianne Neuwirth
Limit: 30
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jun 23—Aug 25
10 weeks
Refund Date
Jun 25
2 Units
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Marianne Neuwirth
Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
"Once upon a time . . ." Few words captivate us like these do. Stories and storytelling are integral to every culture on Earth, and unite diverse audiences through commonly understood images, characters, and ideas. In this course, you will learn about storylistening, and we will analyze storytelling techniques used by seasoned and professional storytellers. You will learn the basics of crafting and telling effective and captivating stories. The focus of the course will be on sharing orally, rather than in written form. Fairy tales, myths, movies, books, and story recordings by professional storytellers will be used as source material. You will prepare, practice, and deliver various presentations, incorporating techniques learned in class. By the end of the course, you will have a clear sense of what mesmerizing stories look and sound like, which approaches work best for keeping audiences rapt, and how to incorporate these techniques into your own storytelling, whether for presentations, interviews, or informal gatherings. You will know how to create a story that is succinct yet complete, develop characters with whom audiences can relate, design and organize a plotline with a clear arc, use details that evoke rather than dilute meaning, and incorporate voice inflections and body language that bring stories to life.

Prerequisite: Advanced-level proficiency in spoken English.

Oral Communication Consultant

Marianne Neuwirth consults with local professionals, international executives, and various departments at Stanford, teaching leadership, persuasion, storytelling, public speaking, and conflict resolution, and training researchers how to communicate their work publicly and conversationally in succinct and compelling ways. She received a PhD in communication from the University of Utah.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Elizabeth Ellis, From Plot to Narrative (ISBN 9781935166818)