Want to learn how to become a renowned storyteller? In this guide, we’ve listed some of the best storytelling courses on the internet to help you get started.
Storytelling classes are a great way to get the creative juices flowing. These courses will teach you important fundamentals of narrative structure and give you ideas to craft your own tale.
The skills that storytelling teaches aren’t just for writers. You can use these ideas to give better presentations, create artistic projects, and communicate ideas to the people around you. Narrative devices and structural elements are tools to help you express ideas in a way that your audience will understand.
A good instructor will draw you into the class with their storytelling abilities. Choose a teacher that you find captivating, and use their course to discover how they managed to engage your interest.
1. Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling (MasterClass)
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Neil Gaiman is one of the world’s most famous modern authors. In this 19 lesson MasterClass, Gaiman reveals his storytelling method and teaches students to create their own fictional worlds.
Gaiman starts with the philosophy of writing. In particular, his lesson on Truth in Fiction discusses how the lie of a story is used to communicate the truths of human existence. The course leads you through finding your own voice, writing short fiction pieces, and eventually using worldbuilding techniques to create a rich and complicated narrative. Gaiman returns to philosophy at the end of the course to discuss the responsibilities that a writer has to their audience and the influence that they have on culture.
This MasterClass was created by an exceptional writer. Every lesson reads like a chapter in a book; the accompanying video lectures are full of Gaiman’s wit and personality. This course will teach you the fundamentals of storytelling and help you develop a distinct and personal creative voice.
Check out our full Neil Gaiman MasterClass review for more info.
- Neil Gaiman personally teaches you the art of storytelling with 19 video lectures.
- Lessons include character development, worldbuilding, genre, and editing.
- Gaiman spends time discussing the philosophy of writing and the responsibilities of an author.
2. The art of storytelling by Pixar (Khan Academy)
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The stories in Pixar’s animated movies have touched countless audience members across multiple generations. In this partnership class from Khan Academy, the animators and writers of Pixar discuss the storytelling method that has made their company so successful.
This class is divided into 6 different sections full of short, easy video lessons. Activities after each lesson help you use and understand the information you just learned. The first few sections cover storytelling and character development. From there, the class teaches you the basic language of film development and helps you prepare to pitch your story to a theoretical film studio. This storytelling course has a strong focus on visual elements; line, color, and movement are all used to communicate the ideas behind the story to be told.
Like all Khan Academy courses, these storytelling lessons are completely free and available online. The site also features several other courses from Pixar; if you are interested, you can learn about animation, lighting, filming, and the color science that helps their films come to life. Pixar believes that all of these elements are necessary to tell a compelling visual narrative.
- This class is part of the Pixar in a Box series on Khan Academy.
- The course is broken into 6 sections full of simple video lessons and activity plans.
- Students will learn the fundamentals of storytelling through a visual lense.
3. Intro to Storytelling: Wow Your Crowd (Udemy)
Comedians use stories to draw in their audience before surprising them with a laugh. Kevin Allison, the head instructor at The Story Studio, teaches students the basics of oral storytelling with this practical Udemy course.
This class is a practical guide to the entire storytelling process. The lessons start with brainstorming tips and move on to storytelling structure and narrative elements. Kevin Allison is a comedian, and every one of his video lectures is full of charming and compelling stories that you can draw inspiration from.
This storytelling course is geared towards public speakers, but it’s also appropriate for writers, teachers, or anyone who wants to interact well with an audience. A strong focus is placed on audience engagement; you are taught how to notice when the audience has lost interest and how to bring them back into the narrative. Accompanying workbook exercises help you use the advice for your storytelling method of choice.
- This comedy-based course teaches storytelling through the lense of public speaking.
- Students learn about audience engagement, narrative structure, and descriptive imagery.
- Required tools include something to write with and a way to record yourself presenting a story.
- Kevin Allison shares his workshopping process to help you and your friends create even better narratives.
4. Storytelling for Public Speaking (Udemy)
Storytelling is an important element of public speaking. Whether you’re presenting an academic lecture or a project brief, the ability to construct a good narrative is essential if you want your audience to engage.
Alex Glod’s storytelling class is created specifically for public speakers. A writer might be able to benefit from this course, but the lessons are intended for business professionals, marketers, and academics. The focus is on creating an authentic emotional experience that will captivate your audience and help communicate your ideas.
The lesson plan includes the elements of a good story, learning what your own story is, and communicating that story with a clear and passionate speech. The final lessons also discuss how to deal with the fears and vulnerabilities that make public speaking so difficult. Students are expected to complete the included exercises; a quiz at the end of every section helps measure your progress.
This Udemy course includes 31 video lectures and has enrolled 4,500 students so far. The instructor, Alex Glod, has given several TED talks and taught public speaking to thousands of students around the world.
- This class teaches storytelling for public speaking and is not meant for authors or journalists.
- Lessons cover storycrafting, presentation, and audience engagement.
- After watching the videos, students complete exercises and quizzes to progress through the class.
5. VIDEO STORYTELLING. Techniques used by pro broadcasters. (Udemy)
The basic elements of a story include character, narrative, and world structure. Writers use descriptions to bring these elements to life on the page. In contrast, filmmakers have a wide array of visual tools to help tell their stories in compelling and creative videos.
Andrew St.Pierre White’s Udemy class teaches students to make entertaining and interesting videos. This class doesn’t assume that you have any prior shooting or editing experience; the lessons start with equipment and move through the basic skills needed to get quality video footage.
What makes this class different is that every element is focused around telling a story. Once you know how to use your camera, you are taught how to shoot and edit with your final narrative in mind.
Andrew St.Pierre White has been in film and television for over 38 years; he brings you valuable industry knowledge alongside his personal tips and advice. Upon completing this course, students will be able to make compelling videos for online publication.
- This class teaches students to tell stories through a visual medium.
- Students need access to a camera for filming and a computer for editing.
- This course is appropriate for anyone interested in creating videos for events, online publication, or personal use.
Before you take a storytelling class, decide what kind of stories you want to create. A course made for writers will not teach the same skills as a course meant for videographers. All of these classes discuss the fundamentals of storytelling, but the way that the story is told will change the narrative elements that need to be used.
Remember that storytelling is a personal and creative skill. Once you’ve gained inspiration from your instructors, use those skills to tell the story that you want the world to hear.