Improve your communication skills using storytelling tools: Engaging your adult learners

A one day practical workshop


You can attend this training course in one of two ways:

• Book a delegate place on one of our public courses listed below (click here to receive updates on new dates and locations for this course)

• Request this training course to be delivered in-house/on-site for your organisation by e-mailing This option may be more cost effective where groups of staff need the training.


£150 NIACE member rate

£165 Non-NIACE member rate

(includes tea/coffee/sandwich lunch, support materials and certificate of attendance)

NB: NIACE does not charge VAT on conference and course fees

Contact: NIACE Events ( Tel: 0116 2044205



[Training context] [Training Aim] [Target Audience] [Training objectives] [What this workshop will do] [Workshop outline] [Event information] [Application conditions]

Training context


Effective storytelling has the capacity to attract and hold the attention and interest of listeners. A good story is not only a highly enjoyable activity in its own right but is also a powerful vehicle for conveying key messages and information in a positive way which allows us to get our point across with impact.Understanding storytelling principles also has the added bonus of strengthening your own communication skills and self confidence.

This one day workshop focuses on putting storytelling tools and techniques into practice.

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Training aim

To demonstrate how storytelling has been rediscovered as a powerful teaching tool and to help you develop your own skills to be a more effective and engaging communicator using storytelling techniques.

No previous experience of storytelling is required for this workshop.

The day explores a range of storytelling concepts, tried and tested strategies, hints and tips, and provides an opportunity to put ideas into practice and adapt them to your own individual style.

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Target audience

Teachers and tutors working in any context in adult learning.

Participants who attended our previous storytelling workshops told us:

The training was fantastic. Excellent training session - inspiring, exciting and thought-provoking. I will use all the techniques in passing them on to staff and using storytelling techniques to engage learners. Samantha Edwards, HR Training & Development Officer, Juniper Training Ltd

I told stories! ...It was what I was looking for. Angela Green, Tutor/Dyslexia specialist, Wolverhampton County Council

Well-structured and delivered session, presented by knowledgeable, experienced and enthusiastic tutor.

Supported activities, group and pair work, plenty of interactive work. Andy Chapman, Early Years Family Literacy Officer, Buckinghamshire County Council

Will use storytelling in my lessons to convey a concept or skill. Sue Sutton, Oaklands College

It has encouraged me to continue with developing our outreach programme in new directions. Vicky Thorpe, Customer Services Manager, Gloucestershire Archives

I have come away with confidence and communication skills which I will be able to use at work. Tutor, Independent specialist college for learning difficulties and disabilities

Stimulating session offering lots of ideas for activities with all my students with strategies for encouraging reluctant learners Mary Bradshaw, Lecturer, Basingstoke College of Technology

Very useful tips on how to keep people listening Lisa Clarke, SFL Lecturer, Linkage Community Trust

Inspiring, motivating and different Sarah Upton, Senior Development Officer / Tutor- RMBC Skills for Life, RMBC

It has given the basis of ideas which I can adapt to suit my students Hillary Gibson, Course Tutor ESOL, Leeds City College - Thomas Danby Campus

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Training objectives

This workshop aims to:

  • introduce the basic skills and techniques of storytelling;
  • show how storytelling is an important teaching tool and why it works;
  • develop skills in identifying and sharing the right stories;
  • give practical advice on how to tell stories;
  • give an opportunity to develop practical skills in delivering a story;
  • improve understanding of the applications of personal delivery;
  • improve understanding of the process of engagement that develops between the storyteller and the listener;
  • give practical advice on how to get, and hold, the attention of an audience;
  • identify and demonstrate the "finer points" of storytelling eg how to find and use your voice; using facial gestures and hand movements;
  • improve understanding of how to use a story as an effective means of communication; and,
  • give practical advice and knowledge on how to build your skills beyond the workshop.

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What this workshop will do

By the end of the workshop participants should have:

  • acquired a set of basic storytelling skills and techniques which will enable them to be a more effective communicator;
  • a better appreciation of the potential of storytelling and how to use techniques to inspire and motivate learners;
  • increased their knowledge of the range of storytelling techniques and how to improve their own storytelling skills;
  • improved confidence to be able to tell a short story to a live audience; and,
  • gained an understanding of the wider applications of storytelling and how to use their newly acquired skills in other situations and contexts.

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Workshop outline

9:45 Arrival and registration (tea/coffee available)

10:15 Introductions and warm up

Session 1:
Why is storytelling so powerful?

Session 2:
Becoming a storyteller
Identifying and overcoming initial barriers to tapping our "inner" storyteller
Storytelling practice - small groups

11:20 Comfort break (Tea/coffee)

Session 3:
How stories fit in with work and life
The significance and impact of stories
Practical examples demonstrated by workshop storyteller
Story circle

Session 4:
Sources of stories
Activity on selecting the "right" story to work for you
Changing the story to fit your purpose

12:30 Lunch

Session 5:
Review approaches and techniques
Building a checklist of what works

Session 6: (individual and small groups)
Create an instant story
Test out your story
Recieve feedback

14:30 Comfort break (Tea/coffee)

Session 7:
Finding and using community resources - opportunities for hearing and telling stories
What next to keep the momentum going to build your new skills

Session 8:
Success stories
Activity to practice a pre-prepared story
Building confidence: Practice makes perfect

Final words and Evaluation

4:15pm Workshop Close

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Event Information

Arrival and registration is at 9:45am for a 10:15am start. The event will end at 4:15pm

Event fee per person: £165 (Non NIACE members rate)/£150 (NIACE members rate)

(includes sandwich lunch, tea/coffee)
NB: NIACE does not charge VAT on conference or course fees.

Only online application forms with the payments section completed will be processed.
NB: If you wish us to invoice your employer we require a copy of the Purchase Order before the form is processed.
Places will be allocated in order of receipt of completed applications (one online application per person)
Participants should be prepared to take their own notes as there may not be handouts for all sessions
If you have not received an e-mail confirming your attendance and joining instructions 4 working days before the event please contact:

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Application Conditions

Event date: Tuesday 26 March 2013

Closing Date: Friday 8 March 2013

Cancellations are non-refundable
The full fee is payable prior to the event
Substitutions are to be advised 5 working days prior to the event
A 15 working days notice period is required for provision of electronic note-takers, sign language interpreters and transcription to Braille
Places are to be reserved online - scroll up and click on Apply Now
Reservations by telephone cannot be accepted
Applications forms are individually acknowledged by e-mail. Joining instructions, including map and directions, will be e-mailed out one week before the event.
NIACE reserves the right to reject applicants who are not from the target audience list.