John Yorke Nick Parker Story for Organisations Business Storytelling

STORY for ORGANISATIONS

With more media competing for our attention, organisations that can tell compelling stories about themselves have a huge advantage over competitors.

With more media competing for our attention, organisations that can tell compelling stories about themselves have a huge advantage over competitors.

But turning the information about a business, brand or product into a story that grips people from beginning to middle to end is challenging. This professional development course makes it easy by showing you the basic rules all professional storytellers use.

Over seven weeks you’ll experiment with different story-structure techniques to develop your skills and learn how to apply the techniques to your own business, from presentations to brand strategy and market research.

This is the only course based on real-life examples from the worlds of business and entertainment, devised and taught by people with track records in creating some of the world’s most popular stories.

John and your tutor are on-hand throughout to answer questions, give feedback and critique your business stories at the end of the course. All participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion evidencing their learning and study hours.

NEXT COURSE

Start date: 5 October 2020
Duration: 7 weeks
Skill level: Intermediate
Held: Weekly
Sessions: 6
Price: £1,200 (inc. VAT where applicable)

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John
Yorke
Director
Richard
Benson
Tutor
Georgi
Tandy
Moderator

Organisations our tutors have worked with

Script Development Tutor Work
A man writing at a coffee shop

Many businesses think they’re telling stories when they’re not. It’s important to understand what the elements of story are and use them properly. Otherwise it’s like forgetting to put a call to action in a marketing campaign.

​- Nick Parker, brand and business writer

We’ve developed Story for Organisations – in collaboration with brand and business writer Nick Parker – for anyone who needs to communicate as part of their job. From brand and marketing communicators, internal and external communications teams, HR teams, and anyone who needs to write briefs and case studies.

We teach this course in groups of up to 15 people. You can book as an individual or block-book a dedicated class exclusively for your team.

The course is suitable if you:

  • Are a novice storyteller and want to learn how stories work and how to plan and structure narratives for business
  • Are a seasoned professional and want to refresh your skills on storytelling to apply to your work
  • Are developing online content for businesses, charities and other organisations and want to understand how to use stories
  • Would like to see the underlying framework behind all business stories
  • Need to discover why your business stories aren’t working — and how to fix them
  • Want to gain the confidence to create your own brand or business stories
  • Want to join a friendly and supportive group of learners
  • Can dedicate 5-7 hours per week for the duration of the course

Over seven weeks, you’ll learn the building blocks you need to create a compelling narrative for business and brands, and all the essentials you need to fix broken stories and create original material. We’ll look in detail at the act structure of stories, protagonists and antagonists, inciting incidents, climaxes and resolutions. We’ll also look at the big things they can teach us to apply to business communication. You’ll work within a supportive community keen to share their experiences with you.

Session 1: The Shape of All Stories
We’ll introduce you to the core shape all stories take, viewing short clips and examples from film, TV and the business world. We’ll look at the elements all great stories have in common, whether it’s cinema classics like Jaws, or the founder’s tale of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. This session is also about getting to know the other participants in your group.
Session 2: Finding Your Heroes and Villains
We’ll examine what makes us identify with key characters — and how these apply to business stories. Is your business the protagonist of your story? Or is it your product or your customer? How do your heroes and villains travel through your stories? You’ll learn to précis the essence of a story into a single sentence or doodle.     Your tutor will answer your questions in a live Q&A session.
Session 3: Getting the Best Out of Conflict
All great stories have at their heart a conflict to resolve, an obstacle to overcome, or a villain to vanquish. We’ll look at how to identify the conflict in business stories and at moments of drama and crisis — and how to deal with the urge in business to pretend that everything’s positive and there are never any challenges! You’ll learn the 10 failsafe questions to ask every story to make sure it’s working as effectively as it could. You’ll find examples from your own line of work to pick apart and rework.
Session 4: Keeping Your Audience on the Edge of Their Seats
We’ll look at the techniques great storytellers use to shape stories, including creating unbearable suspense and can’t-look-but-can’t-look-away tension, and how you can use these superpowers in your own work. By the end of this session you should also be able to create a perfectly constructed story. At the end of this session John Yorke and Nick Parker will take your questions on using stories in business.
Session 5: How to Avoid Telling Bad Stories
We’ll look at key story archetypes most often used in business and some of the common pitfalls that business stories fall into — including the ‘there’s no conflict here!’ problem, and the ‘we want to be a blockbuster, but we’re more like a soap opera’ dilemma.
Session 6: Putting it Into Action
You’ll apply the techniques you’ve learned to some work relevant to your professional role, and assess it against John’s master list of storytelling tips. At the end of the course you’ll submit your real-world business stories for feedback from your tutors. This might involve bringing to life an abstract concept from your business, rewriting or picking apart stories you’ve worked on before, storyboarding new stories or analysing the founding stories of key businesses. You may also request a CPD certification of completion at the end of the course.

We teach this course in our online classroom, which is open 24/7 so you can fit learning around your work, family and friends. You’ll work in a small group of learners so you can discuss ideas, ask questions and share your writing as you progress through the weekly sessions.

Read more on how we teach. 

See a full list of the materials and programmes you’ll need to complete this course.

You’ll learn from:

  • Short podcasts and videos from John Yorke, your tutor, and other industry experts
  • Q&A sessions with visiting lecturers
  • Practical exercises and prompts to help you experiment and practise your skills
  • Carefully selected reading and viewing lists from John and Nick Parker
  • Live Q&A chatroom sessions with your group and tutor
  • The opportunity to share your work and give and receive feedback from fellow writers
  • Weekly tutor input and detailed feedback on your business stories at the end of the course from your tutor and John Yorke

Join our alumni

After your course, you can join our online alumni community where you’ll meet our growing network of past students. You’ll be able to.

  • Rejoin your classmates in a private forum
  • Continue to access an archived version of your course materials
  • Meet alumni from other courses and share work for feedback
  • Join discussions about screenwriting, script editing and the industry
  • Attend live chats with guest writers and industry folk

Mentoring and one-to-one feedback

The John Yorke Story tutor team offer mentoring, script reads and reports. We are happy to quote by job or script, or to arrange a longer mentoring scheme as you work on a specific story idea. We’ll create a package to suit you, so for more information please email learn@johnyorkestory.com

Taking things further

If you’d like to take another John Yorke Story course, we’ll give you a discount. Please get in touch for more details.

This course has been made possible by the support of ScreenSkills, and has been approved as part of an informal or formal continuing professional development (CPD) programme.

You may be eligible for a training bursary for this course. Apply direct to ScreenSkills here, at least FOUR WEEKS before the course start date.

As this counts as CPD training, you may also be able to get funding from your employer to do it. See here for all our latest bursary and funding opportunities. 

Price: £1,200 (inc. VAT where applicable)

Price: £50
(Non-refundable)

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WHAT our  STUDENTS SAY

The Esso ad we looked at was really dreadful. I thought that at the beginning of the course when we first watched it, but couldn’t really say why. Now I realise why, having been given the checklist. This will change the way I create ads.

Cathy

While it’s simple enough to recognise a successful business story, I’ve realised it’s another thing entirely to pinpoint the reasons for its success and understand how to recreate that in your work.

Emily

So many business briefs can be unambitious, and would benefit from being challenged. This course gives a good framework for making those challenges. The course also made me aware that there’s now a whole thing called brand storytelling that often isn’t storytelling at all.

Richard

I had never thought about my pitches in terms of story elements, story structure – I’ve always just done them on instinct and judged them on whether they read well. So I’m finding this course hugely illuminating and it’s already causing me to think differently.

Dan

Our VIDEOS on WHY BUSINESSES need STORIES
Our ARTICLES on BUSINESS WRITING
Why three-act business stories don’t work anymore

Why three-act business stories don’t work anymore

Want to craft a successful story about a business, brand or product? Our Story for Business course tutor Richard Benson explains how writing business stories in five acts creates more impact than three, and why all businesses must understand why good story structure can build effective, emotional connections with their audience.

Businesses – so you think you understand story?

Businesses – so you think you understand story?

Nick Parker has made a career telling stories, but it’s taken until now to work out how they really work. In advance of the launch of his Story for Business course, devised with John Yorke, Nick recounts the story of his relationship with story.

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