Storytelling for Change

Richard Richards, Acumen

The Course

Course Description:

Acumen and The Ariel Group have created this hands-on course to help you develop your practical skills as a storyteller. Whether you work in an office making presentations in the boardroom, as a teacher with 30 to 300 students, interacting with customers, or one-on-one with individuals, using the elements of story bring you closer to your audience. Using stories makes your messages memorable, gives your audience something to relate to, and above all captures their attention, motivating and inspiring them in new ways. A story taps into more than one element of communicating. Great storytellers are great communicators and effective leaders.

Acumen believes that storytelling is an essential tool for changing the way the world tackles poverty because it starts with changing conversations around what we see, hear, feel and know to be true. Change leaders see the world’s potential, and tell powerful stories that inspire action.

Key Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Be confident in using stories, especially personal stories, as a part of their communication toolkit
  • Know how to tell stories and use a specific set of storytelling skills so that you connect with the hearts and minds of your audience
  • Have developed, rehearsed, and received feedback on one personal story as a replicable model so that you can build a personal “library” or “back pocket” of stories that can be used in different situations
  • Be able to use a 5-step process to integrate story into presentations for change, work, or many other situations

More questions?

Please visit our +Acumen Page for more information. We invite participants to form groups to work together on this course. If you'd like to form a group with others, please send this link to your friends or colleagues to ask them to sign up!

If you don't have a group, no problem. On the the NovoEd platform you will have an option to form a group. Or, you can also participate as an individual and interact with others on the course forum.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

This Course Is For You If:

  • You make lots of presentations, or you want to get better at making presentations
  • You are a teacher, facilitator or instructor
  • You think you don’t have any stories (we’ll bring them out of you!)
  • You want a new way of connecting with people (great for networking!)
  • You’re interviewing for jobs and want a strong way of presenting yourself
  • You want to change your communication style
  • You just want to have fun!

About +Acumen Courses:

Acumen is a non-profit changing the way the world tackles poverty and building a world based on dignity by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. And +Acumen ("plus Acumen") was created in 2009 to give people a meaningful way to “add Acumen” into their lives. +Acumen makes Acumen’s work in leadership available to everyone. At Acumen, leadership begins with moral imagination: the humility to see the world as it is, and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be. Combined with operational skills and financial skills, our courses aim to equip emerging change leaders with the tools to change the way the world tackles poverty and build a world based on dignity. Please check out other +Acumen Courses here. You can contact us at

Leadership Model

Check out course highlights »

More Information


Approximately 3-4 hours/week

    Technical Requirements:

    You will need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures and provides the ability to upload all your assignments.

    Statement of Accomplishment:

    Subject to course completion (completion of all assignments), you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed jointly by +Acumen and The Ariel Group.

    The Instructors

    Richard Richards


    Richard Richards has worked in leadership and training roles in both corporate and non-profit arenas, all of them overseas. Once the Ariel Group’s Vice President of Learning Design, he now works independently with leaders at the top and bottom of the “pyramid”. He has a BSc (Hons) from the University of Surrey in the UK and an MA in Applied Learning, from DePaul University in Chicago. He has been a professional actor (were he honed his skills as a storyteller) and owned an art gallery. His last job was as a learning consultant and faculty member for "El Instituto de Liderazgo de Las Segovias” in Nicaragua.

    Richard Richards ha trabajado en funciones de liderazgo y capacitación, tanto en el ámbito corporativo como en organizaciones sin fines de lucro, siempre en el exterior. En el pasado se desempeñó como Vicepresidente de Diseño del Aprendizaje del Grupo Ariel y en la actualidad trabaja de forma independiente con líderes en la cima y en la base de la “pirámide”. Obtuvo una licenciatura con honores (BSc (Hons) ) de la Universidad de Surrey en el Reino Unido y una maestría en Aprendizaje Aplicado de la Universidad DePaul en Chicago. Ha sido actor profesional (donde perfeccionó sus habilidades como narrador de historias) y fue dueño de una galería de arte. En su último empleo se desempeñó como consultor de aprendizaje y miembro del cuerpo de profesores de "El Instituto de Liderazgo de Las Segovias” en Nicaragua.

    Greta Cowan

    Facilitator and Executive Coach

    Greta Cowan, PCC is a senior facilitator and leadership coach. She has facilitated leadership development workshops for companies such as American Express, Revlon, General Electric, Capital One, and JPMorgan Chase. Since 1999 she has been coaching leaders to connect with and congruently communicate their passion, lead with their principles, find clarity of purpose, and leverage their full, authentic leadership presence. She brings a dynamic blend of humor, compassion, honesty, and rigor to her work -- helping leaders become more inspirational. Greta has taught and lectured at Columbia Business School under the auspices of the Executive Education and Executive MBA Departments and the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management. She has worked nationwide and abroad with a wide variety of executives from both the corporate and non-profit sectors.


    About +Acumen Courses

    We launched +Acumen Courses in 2013 to share our leadership training and insights from the field, so that more people could develop their own toolkit for change. More information can be found here.

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    • Language: English Gb


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