Develop public speaking skills

Story Lab is a new immersive experience open to all undergrads presented by the Tippie Leadership Collaborative. To be a leader—in both work and life—you have to be an effective communicator. And storytelling is one of the most powerful tools for connecting with and inspiring others. Story Lab is designed to teach you to craft and deliver compelling stories that will help you stand out among your peers and in the eyes of recruiters and potential employers. 

How Story Lab works

  • A daylong storytelling workshop kicks the program off—helping you develop story skills as well as executive presence (confident vocals and body language) and leadership skills (charisma, authenticity) through immersive activities.
  • Ongoing peer coaching throughout the semester helps you collaborate and mentor each other in a safe, supportive environment.
  • Story Lab ends with a showcase featuring student stories. The event will be held at the MERGE innovation hub in downtown Iowa City and would include members of the local business community providing you with networking opportunities. 
  • Stories from the showcase will be professionally recorded giving you a polished video to add to your resume.

Other cool stuff you get—Materials including the book How to Tell a Story by The Moth, meals and refreshments at Story Lab workshops and events, professionally produced videos, and more.


Story Lab Showcase promotional image

Story Lab Showcase

Friday, April 28, 2023 11:30am to 1:30pm
Join Tippie's Story Lab students for a brown-bag lunch at MERGE and hear their stories on the theme of "Future Tense." Each storyteller will share a short story about a time when everything seemed mapped out (and was or wasn't what it seemed). Turning points, the path less traveled, and starting all over again. Moving towards what we want or away from what hurts. This event is free and open to the public.

Student resources

Story Sketch PDF (story planning tool from the workshop)
Story Notes PDF (story feedback form from the workshop)

“I think my stories can motivate people to get to where they want to be. They can also show who I am and why I think the way I do.”
"It’s really important for leaders to gain the credibility of those that they’re leading. Storytelling about oneself is a way for people to gain credibility .... It’s a real strategic advantage for the students .... One thing that I’m hearing in terms of reactions from students is the experience of having a new network and cohort of people they now have a deeper connection with because they’ve each told their stories"

Kickoff workshop

Open to all Tippie undergrads

Story Lab begins each semester with a workshop where you'll learn storytelling, executive presence, leadership skills, and more! From there, you’ll continue working with a peer mentor, coaching each other and shaping your stories for a showcase at the end of the semester. The next Story Lab workshop will be Fall 2023.

Sign Up Now

Questions? Contact Nick Westergaard at

“Story Lab is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to become a more confident leader and storyteller. The connections, lessons, and skills you’ll gain from this program will not only take you far in the business world but will also help you find & use your own unique voice.”
Regan Day, BBA Marketing & Business Analytics (2024)

Contact us

Nick Westergaard

Nickolas Westergaard

Faculty Director, Story Lab