Explain ways in which leaders use storytelling to build trust and relationships.

Aug 30, 2023

Create a PowerPoint presentation that showcases your ability to tell a story.


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This portfolio work project will give you practice with professional writing expectations, as well as motivating and persuading others by telling a story.

Create a brief slide presentation, with graphics, and preferably your voice presenting, that analyzes the tools and strategies that leaders can use to build trust and collaboration, and explains why you believe storytelling is one effective tool for you to use to lead your team.

The Creating a Presentation in the MBA Program Resources and the Guidelines for Effective PowerPoint Presentations [PDF] document will help you with this presentation.

The Ariel Group explains that a story needs to follow a basic four-step format that gently leads the audience into the story, through the story, and connecting the story:

The Ariel Group. (2011). Executive essentials: Storytelling [PDF]. Available from https://www.arielgroup.com/

Use this format, based on page 9 of the Ariel group resource, to create six slides (including cover page and references):

Slide 1. Cover slide with title and your name, and a graphic for interest (be sure to credit graphic artist in the reference slide).

Slide 2. Introduce the subject matter or business content, much as the introduction to a paper would do.

Conversation example: “I think you’ve been doing a great job heading this initiative despite the hiccups you’ve encountered along the way. I want to make sure you don’t beat yourself up over this too much . . .”

Presentation example: “Today I would like to speak to you about a new marketing strategy for our product . . .”

NASA example: “NASA has a reputation for communication issues among teammates, but our team is going to change all of that.”

Slide 3. Provide an overview of the importance of storytelling. Specifically, analyze at least two tools leaders can use to build trust and relationships, foster collaboration, and help employees feel engaged with their work (storytelling is one of those tools; mention one or two others). Also, explain ways in which leaders use storytelling to build trust and relationships.

Slide 4. Transition into the story. This slide should transition into your story, setting the expectations of the audience of what is to come.

Conversation example: “In fact, back when I was a team leader, I had a similar experience . . .”

Presentation example: “Let me share with you a story to illustrate a vision of how we can work together . . .”

NASA example: “I once worked at another company that had some major communications issues. It wasn’t life or death like here at NASA, but we did have some serious problems in communications that impacted our ability to be effective.”

Slide 5. Tell the Story. This slide should actually tell your story:

Set the stage.

Describe the conflict.

Describe the resolution.

Example: “It’s 2012. I’m out on the soccer field with my son when he turns to me and says . . .”

NASA example: “About 10 years ago I was working as a shift leader at a manufacturing facility where safety was supposedly part of the culture, yet we had a frighteningly bad safety record . . .” Continue the story.

Slide 6. Connect the story to a teaching point or subject matter. This slide should bring your story back to the issue at hand.

Personal learning: “What my son said to me reminded me so powerfully that there is always a fresh, new way to look at any challenging situation.”

Message for the group: “Ladies and gentlemen, are we willing to shift our marketing strategy in a whole new direction, to take a risk in the way that my son did? I certainly am.”

NASA example: “In this situation, we learned this and that. Here at NASA, we can do the same thing. We can prove that communications this and that.” Think of this like explaining the moral of the story.

Slide 7. References. Include references here.

Deliverable Format

Presentation. Attach a PowerPoint presentation that has a cover page, five content slides per the above, and a references slide. You must have exactly seven slides—learning to follow established guidelines is important in school and the workplace.

Resources. Note that your slides should not be text heavy. However, you should make ample use of presenter notes. While the presenter notes do not have to be a word-for-word transcript, they should be very close to what you would or do say in your audio. You may optionally use the slide software recording tools to record audio of your slides—you actually telling your story.

Refer to the writing resources in the MBA Program Resources, especially paying attention to the MBA Academic and Professional Document Guidelines, under Writing Skills, for more information.


By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies through corresponding scoring guide criteria:

Competency 2: Apply leadership strengths and behaviors to workplace situations.

Apply storytelling skills to a workplace situation where trust and collaboration are essential.

Competency 3: Recommend evidence-based strategies for leading and collaborating in complex environments.

Analyze the tools leaders can use to build trust and relationships, foster collaboration, and help employees feel engaged with their work.

Explain ways in which leaders use storytelling to build trust and relationships.

Competency 4: Communicate effectively through academic and professional writing.

Develop text using organization, structure, and transitions that demonstrate understanding of the relationship between the main topic and subtopics.

Integrate appropriate use of scholarly sources, evidence, and citation style.

Convey clear meaning in text through sound grammar, usage, word choice, and mechanics.

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