Who leads Storytellers Collective workshops?

Our trainers are National Geographic Explorers, exceptional individuals in their fields who receive funding and support from the National Geographic Society to illuminate and protect our world through their work in science, exploration, education and storytelling. They are experts in storytelling in the fields of photography, filmmaking, audio, data visualization and mapping. We also have supporting subject matter experts that complement the Explorers’ areas of expertise. At least one program manager attends for support and logistics.

Who can benefit from a Storytellers Collective workshop?

The Storytellers Collective works with universities, nonprofits, and affinity corporations. We believe that great storytelling is the best way for organizations to have impact and reach their goals.

Where are Storytellers Collective workshops held?

Because the workshops require focused time for 1- and 3-day workshops, they are held on our clients’ campuses.

What is the ideal class size for a workshop?

Our workshops provide valuable one-on-one feedback, so we prefer to cap the participants at no more than 20. This allows for all participants to gain value from the Explorer and program trainers’ feedback.

Will the workshop be customized to my organization’s needs?

We always try to customize the emphasis of the workshops to the goals of your organization, within the bounds of what we currently offer. While our sweet spot is in teaching how to tell science and conservation stories, we also prepare participants for presentation design and delivery, as well as multimedia storytelling and social media storytelling.

How much time is spent in structured presentations vs. discussion/Q&A time?

We strive for as much time interacting with participants as possible, with perhaps a third of the time being presented content, and the balance of time spent with the participants developing their own content.

Outside of workshops, are there coffee breaks or shared mealtimes for informal discussion with Explorers?

Every workshop has morning and afternoon coffee breaks, as well as a lunch break where the participants can talk to the Explorer and other program facilitators.

What can I do to build support internally for a workshop?

Good storytelling is good for business, whether you are trying to save the rainforest or sell software. The science behind storytelling says that people retain more information from a good story than from facts and figures. Good storytelling is more memorable, more moving, easier to understand, and more shareable. That’s good business.

What assets or resources do you need to hold a workshop on our site?

We require a room large enough to comfortably hold up to 20 participants and 3 trainers. We also need a screen to show our presentations on. We don’t normally require a microphone because we like to move around and have more of a conversation. We ask that our workshop partner supply breakfast items (pastries, fruit and yogurt, coffee, tea, water), a light lunch, and an afternoon coffee break. We find that hungry participants do not do their best work, so available food is always a best practice.
Photo credits: Taylor Schuelke