The Program

Story Lab develops executive-level presence and communication skills through storytelling workshops and events. To be an effective leader — at work, in the community, or in your personal life — you must be able to communicate with impact. Often this means telling stories that are meaningful to you and others, and doing so in the rich language and expressive style of a seasoned storyteller. If you can craft and deliver an effective story, you will be better able to convey your value to recruiters, inspire and motivate classmates and colleagues, and influence any audience you find yourself addressing. At Story Lab, you’ll find a fun and immersive experience and an opportunity to hone your skills in a safe and supportive environment.

Story Lab is co-created with the Ross Design + Business Club.

Get Involved

Story Lab runs throughout the academic year, from September through April. The program begins in the Fall with a kickoff event that is open to the entire university. Then, each semester, a competitively selected group of students participates in a half-day skill-building retreat. Six or seven of these students receive additional coaching and become featured storytellers at Ross Diaries, our live “The Moth-style” storytelling event. We conclude the academic year with a final Ross Diaries event, featuring storytellers from throughout the year at a community-wide, year-end celebration.

Story Lab is a must for every student before graduating from Ross. Communication is obviously key to influencing others, but how ideas are communicated is just as important as what is actually said. Story Lab gave me the tools to be a powerful communicator and can’t wait for the next opportunity to practice my storytelling skills.”

Hollis Farris, MBA ’20
Interest Form

Program Type

Action-Based Learning

Key Dates

Fall 2019
We’ll post the dates here when Story Lab starts next fall.

Time Commitment

Ross Diaries events are 1.5 hours; Story Lab retreats are 4.5 hours

Participant Requirements

  • Deep interest in storytelling, personal growth, and lifelong learning
  • Ross students only for the retreats (by application)
  • Ross Diaries events are open to the public

Skills You’ll Learn

Learn how to communicate with impact, enhance your influence, and inspire dialogue and action. The workshop will help you discover your voice and adopt proven storycraft techniques while developing the verbal communication skills effective leaders use to engage and activate people in today’s complex world.

Developing Executive Presence
You will build your unique communication style, while practicing a proven combination of verbal skills, vocal tones, and body language that enhance executive presence. Your work at Story Lab will not only increase your confidence, charisma, and credibility; it will help you forge an impactful personal brand.

Leading Authentically
Get beneath the surface with your peers and build a more connected Ross community. Through your storytelling, you’ll have the opportunity to go deep, share your authentic self, and connect meaningfully with others. In so doing, you’ll model courageous leadership and learn to foster empathy and trust in others.

Learning from Experience & Feedback
You’ll reflect on your life experiences, recall failures, and celebrate moments of resilience and grit. Along the way, you’ll be encouraged to step outside your comfort zone, receive rich feedback from coaches and peers, and gain fresh insights about yourself and the power of your voice.




May 21, 2019 in Story Lab, Strategies and Tips

Six Actionable Tips for Telling Your Story

Sanger's managing director, Brian Flanagan, recently shared six tips to help distill complex messages into a simple story as part of an exclusive article for SmartBrief. Why does storytelling matter…
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April 17, 2019 in Story Lab

Story Lab 2019: The Year in Review

This year's Story Lab program gave Rossers the opportunity to learn how to tell their story, to listen with empathy to others, and to celebrate our unique campus cultureOur Story…
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