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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: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jul 6—Aug 24
Time: 7:00—9:15 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jul 8
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $550
Instructor(s): Marianne Neuwirth
Limit: 30
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—9:15 pm (PT)
Jul 6—Aug 24
8 weeks
Refund Date
Jul 8
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Marianne Neuwirth
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, story construction and design, and effective oral delivery. (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. We will analyze how effective storytellers craft compelling stories for different occasions. Students 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 Coach, Consultant, and Trainer

Marianne Neuwirth coaches and consults with students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and various other departments at Stanford, local professionals, and international executives, teaching leadership, persuasion, storytelling, public speaking, and conflict resolution skills and courses. She also trains researchers on 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 978-1-935166-81-8)