MET workshops

Story factor: leveraging advanced storytelling techniques to engage and inspire

What do ancient mythology, Steve Jobs, and Hollywood mega-productions have in common? They all harness the power of a good story to captivate, engage, and move us!

Whatever your professional communication needs — from project meetings and sales proposals to conference presentations and workshops — a good story has the capacity to touch your audience’s hearts and minds and get the results you want.

This workshop will show you the difference between descriptive communication and narrative communication. During the workshop you will unpack key examples by master speakers, unlocking their “secrets” so that you can apply them to your communications.

Whether you run meetings, give plenary speeches, or make PowerPoint presentations, storytelling will transform your perception of yourself as a communicator – and your audience’s response to your messages.

Developer/Facilitator: Developed by Jean-Baptiste Benard,; facilitated by Sara Freitas

Purpose: Participants will learn what makes great speakers great by looking at an example (Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates). They will then walk step-by-step through the process of creating their story, from finding the “big idea” to connecting with their audience and structuring the audience’s journey.

Description/Structure: The workshop will alternate trainer talk with hands on application of several of the steps in the approach on the worksheets provided. Due to time and technical constraints, users will not leave the workshop with an entire completed story. However, they will leave with the tools they need to build their presentation from end-to-end using the approach.

Who should attend? Anyone who needs to communicate or trains people to communicate.

Outcome skills: At the end of the workshop, participants will

  • Be more aware of how they communicate
  • Know how to analyze what makes great speakers great
  • Understand their audience's needs and adjust content accordingly
  • Be able to use a step-by-step method to create their own stories

Pre-meeting information:

What to bring

Participants should bring notes or an idea for a talk or presentation they have in progress (or a printout of an existing presentation). To maximize benefits and interaction among participants and between the participants and the trainer, the workshop will be hands-on and “low-tech,” i.e. no computers will be used.

Background reading

  • Atkinson, Cliff. Beyond Bullet Points. ISBN-10: 0-7356-2052-0. Author’s website: Comments: The principles and the procedures for using PowerPoint to tell your story. 
  • Duarte, Nancy. Resonate. ISBN 978-0-470-63201-7.Author’s website: The power of a good story for your presentation slides.
  • Minto, Barbara. The Pyramid Principle. ISBN-10: 0 273 65903 0. Author’s website: Comments: The basics on how to organize information in virtually any format (reports, letters, presentations, etc.).
  • Reynolds, Garr. Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery. ISBN-10: 0-321-52565-5. Author’s website: Comments: The popular blog is now a book!

About the facilitator: I  was born and raised in the US, where I completed my undergraduate and graduate education in French and Linguistics. I have served a number of schools, training organizations, and businesses in the United States, Turkey, and in Grenoble, France, where I have lived since 2001. I founded SFM Traduction in 2003 and today provide businesses in France with French-to-English translation services, English copywriting services, and training in written communication skills in English. I work in the fields of business-to-business marketing, corporate communications, and high-tech and innovation. I am a member of the Société Française des Traducteurs and the American Translators Association. Email: Website:

What participants have said about this workshop:
“Thought-provoking and very enjoyable.”
“The workshop was very useful and Sara is excellently prepared and qualified.”
“I thought Sara was an excellent teacher. She was clearly in control of her subject and was able to communicate it well to those who attended.”