Develop public speaking skills

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. 

Story Lab 2023-2024

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Presented by the Tippie Leadership Collaborative

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. Learn more about the Story Lab experience.


Story Lab Workshop #1

Friday, September 22, 2023 8:00am to 12:00pm
Pomerantz Center
Kickoff workshop—same workshop offered three times (pick one)

Story Lab Workshop #2

Friday, September 22, 2023 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Pomerantz Center
Kickoff workshop—same workshop offered three times (pick one)

Story Lab Workshop #3

Thursday, September 28, 2023 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Pomerantz Center
Kickoff workshop—same workshop offered three times (pick one).

Story Lab Showcase

Friday, November 10, 2023 11:30am to 1:00pm
End-of-semester story showcase sharing student stories—free and open to the public

Student resources

“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.”

Kickoff workshop

Open to all Tippie students

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 Showcase Spring 2023

The Story Lab experience

Through a series of immersive experiences from the kickoff to the showcase, you'll develop storytelling and leadership skills.

"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"

Contact us

Nick Westergaard

Nick Westergaard

Faculty Director, Story Lab