Episode 04: How can students grow the skill of influential storytelling? 

Feb 8, 2022

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. At Story Lab, students develop executive-level presence and communication skills through storytelling workshops and events. Offered by the Sanger Leadership Center at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Story Lab focuses on teaching participants the art and architecture of story development and delivery as a means toward positive influence and impact. At the end of each semester, Story Lab hosts a public showcase inviting some of its workshop participants to take the stage and tell their stories.

In this episode, Sanger Program Coordinator Ben Applebaum-Bauch speaks with MBA student Jessica Liang about her story of advocacy in the face of adversity and the ways her leadership skills have developed since participating in Story Lab. (20 min)

Episode Transcript


Episode Resources

Reflection Questions:

Who is someone that you would consider to be an influential storyteller?

What makes them influential?

What makes their storytelling powerful?

Based on Jessica’s story, what are some of the techniques you can identify and use in your own influential storytelling?

Website Links:

Learn more about Story Lab: https://sanger.umich.edu/portfolio/story-lab/

Sanger Leadership Center: https://sanger.umich.edu/

Sanger Leadership Center:

Located at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, our center serves as an important bridge between student learners and thought leaders in both research and practice. The cornerstone of our teachings is the Michigan Model of Leadership, a model based on 50 years of research generated at the University of Michigan (U-M). Our award-winning, multidisciplinary board of faculty champions regularly contribute new ideas to the scholarly study of leader development. Our students and alumni regularly engage with one another at Sanger programs and learning communities to help each other continue to develop as leaders at U-M and beyond.

Speaker Bio

Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ben is a program coordinator at the Sanger Leadership Center at Michigan Ross. He oversees a variety of leadership development programs offered to Ross students and the wider U-M community. His experience in outdoor adventure education informs his experiential approach to working with U-M students.

Jessica Liang

Jessica Liang

Jessica is a Michigan Ross MBA and one of Sanger’s storytellers from the center’s popular Story Lab program. Originally from San Francisco, California, Jessica plans to go into entrepreneurship following graduation.


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