Esther Choy and her team are devoted to helping others leverage the art of persuasive storytelling.

​Esther Choy founded Leadership Story Lab in 2010 to help others leverage the art of persuasive storytelling to create extraordinary opportunities.


Esther and her team rely on these three guiding principles:


You don’t have to be a superhero to tell good stories.  

We believe that with the right mix of reflection, tools, frameworks and practice, everyone can learn how to tell a better story that will persuade audiences to act. You won’t encounter any probing questions to find out if you “have the gift.” We believe you can do this and we’ll give you the tools to make it happen.

Learning by Doing

No one sits on the sidelines at a Leadership Story Lab training, passively hearing about best practices. We believe storytelling is like riding a bike. Sure, you can observe others riding bikes, but until you hop on, you don’t really know what that forward momentum feels like. Through active participation, you can learn the tools and frameworks and apply them throughout your professional career.


Having Fun While Doing Serious Things

Storytelling humanizes us. Every story unites the teller and the audience. And whether you’re telling the story or listening to a good one, you begin to reflect on what your experiences mean. So even while the stakes for presentations are high, crafting persuasive stories is energizing. We believe in enjoying some laughter while we accomplish the impressive task of translating complex information into powerful story-driven presentations. Find out how. 

The Team

Our team cares deeply about seeing your stories make an emotional connection with your audience. Our rich backgrounds in storytelling, higher education, and business give us the tools to take your stories to the next level. 

Esther Choy

President & Chief Story Facilitator

Esther Choy founded Leadership Story Lab in 2010 to help others leverage the art of storytelling to create extraordinary opportunities. Through the mastery of simple but potent techniques, clients become more engaging and persuasive. Their messages resonate. Success ensues.   
Her own fascination with story began when she served as a designer and teacher of leadership programs and as a business school admissions officer.  She came to profoundly appreciate the role story plays in professional achievement. Credentials are not enough to differentiate oneself in a competitive market. What tips the scales is often a compelling narrative that tells the deeper story behind one’s achievements.
Esther completed her Master's degree in Higher Education from Texas A&M University. She served as an admissions officer for Chicago Booth School of
Business, and taught leadership to Northwestern University undergraduate students. And she is an alumna of Kellogg School of Management's Full-time MBA program as well as a lecturer in its Executive Education Program.  

Reena Kansal

Chief Operating Officer & Story Facilitator


“You work for a storytelling company?!?!”  Reena's friends and family were very surprised to find out about her new role, because they always joked about her horrible storytelling skills.  As an engineer, Reena never received any formal training in business communication, let alone in storytelling.

However, during her time at Leadership Story Lab, Reena has learned the storytelling tools and frameworks and had ample opportunities to practice the skill.  More importantly, she is able to help people like her — quantitative and analytical professionals — tell their stories. 
Reena has spent the majority of her career growing entrepreneurial ventures.  She has been responsible for product strategy and new product launches in a variety of industries, especially on e-commerce platforms. Reena has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Becky Talbot

Content Marketing and Research Manager

Becky Talbot is happiest when writing or helping others hone their writing. She has written for everything from hometown newspapers to pharmaceutical companies to fifth-generation dairy farms. She has taught college-level writing courses, worked in writing centers and volunteered as a literacy tutor. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Roosevelt University and a BA in Professional Writing from Kutztown University. 

Sara Dennison

Project Manager

Sara Dennison joined the Leadership Story Lab team as Project Manager in May, 2016. She previously worked in the educational technology field doing everything from helping elementary school teachers get their students blogging to editing educational websites. In 2006 Sara spent her first year in Chicago as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at the University of Chicago and has lived in the area ever since. Sara is originally from New Mexico, and holds a B.A. in Earth and Planetary Science from the University of New Mexico.

Joanna Koch

Executive Assistant


Joanna joined our team in 2018 working behind the scenes and ensuring the backbone of Leadership Story Lab is strong.  With a background in higher ed and human resources, she can share ten years of workforce stories from manufacturing environments and corporate boardrooms, to eight years teaching Strategic Management at Elmhurst College.

Joanna is happiest in a learning environment, where the accounting is neat and the law is followed.

She earned an MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Implementation from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor’s in History from North Central College. She is also SHRM-CP certified through the Society for Human Resource Management.

© 2019 by Leadership Story Lab

820 W Jackson, Suite 210

Chicago, IL 60607 | 312.324.3830

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