Storytelling skills and workshops for professionals and advocates

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Hi, I’m Lisa Kagan, and I’d like to be your storytelling sherpa.

I’ve helped organizations like yours tell better stories to inspire donors to give, recruits to volunteer, and advocates to speak up.

I can help you:

  • Train your team or board in refreshing, interactive workshops
  • Curate and craft stories on brand that embody your mission
  • Position data as allies, not crutches or burdens
  • Make irresistible asks
  • Amplify emotion
  • Eliminate jargon
  • Invigorate your pitches and presentations to feel right coming out of your mouth
  • Solidify your interviewing skills so you can solicit new stories
  • Make a plan to build a story bank
  • Tap the magic of counterintuitive storytelling
  • Facilitate your retreat
  • Figure out whatever else you need to get your stories out into the world

What you can get:

  • Workshops and retreats
  • Specific story skill modules 
  • One-on-one coaching
  • Speaking engagements

Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

Testimonials

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Your free consultation awaits.

Have a specific question? Pop over to the easy peasy form and contact me.

And be sure to sign up for upcoming posts hot off the press about strategic storytelling in the real world.

More about me

Story de/re/constructing is my favorite thing to do. Professionally, I have a research and policy planning background. Personally, I come from a long line of storytellers and performers. This blog combines those worlds. It’s my pack of storytelling tips and tricks and you’re welcome to them. Poke around. Find something. Leave something. Advocating for your work  and telling your story can feel like an uphill climb. Let’s share the load.

How’d I get here?

Here is my professional history in a nutshell.

2000 Graduate college. Don’t know what to do with a biocultural anthropology degree. Apply for fellowship to wander around Himalayas. Win it. Go to Himalayas. See some breathtaking geography and heartbreaking poverty. Have epiphany. Decide to combine love for anthropology with new compulsion to help children in distress. Buy blue brocade sheepskin coat in Lhasa that reeks of yak butter.

2001-2003 Come home. Get a job tracking and interviewing children and their caregivers in national child abuse study. Document misery for a couple of years. Get bummed out. Decide to improve the cards kids are dealt. Fell stumped. Apply for grad school in case someone there knows. Take sheepskin coat to multiple dry cleaners. Butter smell intensifies in definace.

2003-2007 Go to social work grad school. Keep doing research, this time with teens and their moms. Complete practicums in juvenile jail and state legislature. Learn a lot about systems. Realize working upstream would be better for helping kids. Pursue policy planning as a career. Pack coat away in attempt to weaken potency.

2007-2011 Get job at policy planning firm. Analyze policy on education, hunger, child/youth welfare and development, early learning, out of school time, juvenile justice, domestic violence, self-sufficiency, and asset building. Love it for a while but then discover planning is worthless if it doesn’t hit the streets.  Move all the way downstream to support advocates already putting plans into action. Take a ton of  narrative improv classes for fun. Join a board. Join a commission. Dig out coat to find it stinks only when close up. Display it as art piece too high to sniff.

2011-2015 Get job at mission-driven communications firm to help people making positive change who need help spreading the word. Research and write about philanthropy, homelessness, education, juvenile justice, and health access. Apply improvisation and narrative storytelling skills. Start teaching storytelling workshops so clients feel confident and make those asks. Coat starts shedding. Pack it up until further notice.

2016-Someday in the near future  Create storytelling crash courses for nonprofit, business, and tech clients. Meet you. Compliment your coat. Help you become story strong.

Need help telling your stories? Contact me for a complimentary consultation.