What Our Clients Are Saying

We have enjoyed working with these clients and would love to work with you! See how we can make a difference.

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Melissa Graham, Head Spear, Founding CEO, Purple Asparagus

“Esther is a skilled teacher in the art of storytelling. She instills confidence and coaxes out details to use in crafting compelling stories that are well suited to convince and persuade in the business setting. Personally, she helped me reengage with storytelling, an art that I had set aside as child’s play when I went into the legal profession. My only wish is that I had met Esther earlier in my non-profit career.”


- Melissa Graham, Head Spear, Founding CEO, Purple Asparagus
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Yalexis Barr, Partnership Manager, Partners International Canada

“Thanks for facilitating such a great workshop! I left feeling confident and capable of crafting a good story that would create interest around my organization and our cause!”


- Yalexis Barr, Partnership Manager, Partners International Canada
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Carol Semrad, Principal, C. Semrad & Associates

“Reena’s leadership storytelling session for Chicago SHRM’s Breakfast Bites was engaging, enlightening and fun! I learned, very quickly, how to craft a story that is compelling for the listener, clearly communicates my message and is fun to tell. It was wonderful to have new learning to use immediately. It was not complicated or difficult to remember and was delivered in a setting where I could meet new colleagues and begin to build relationships. Thank you Reena!”


- Carol Semrad, Principal, C. Semrad & Associates
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Hari Xenos, Former Continuous Improvement Manager, ArcelorMittal

“The coaching forced me to “make a sculpture out of the rocks” at a crucial transitional point in my career. Before Esther’s coaching, I thought of the separate experiences of my life and work as “rocks” or “rubble”—separate moments that were not connected. Through Esther’s coaching, I was able to look back on these rocks see how they fit together. Our sessions forced me to think and reflect on the moments of my life. As a result, I was able to create a sculpture out of the rocks: a cohesive story that now welds these experiences together.”


- Hari Xenos, Former Continuous Improvement Manager, ArcelorMittal
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Tina Peters, Senior Learner Experience Manager Wiley Education Services

“I appreciated the reflective nature of the coaching. It made me dig into the ‘whys’ of my life in ways I hadn’t considered before. I loved that Esther shared the big picture first, so I had a clear understanding of what business storytelling was and why it’s essential. Along the way, I applied bits and pieces of what I was learning right away in my real-world context. I loved brainstorming and collaborating with Esther.”


- Tina Peters, Senior Learner Experience Manager Wiley Education Services
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Elizabeth Gordon, Senior Director, Analytic Services, Barton Cotton Fundraising, LLC

“The storytelling training showed me how 65 pages of data slides can be reduced to 30 words! I will use these storytelling techniques when teaching new concepts to my team and when expressing complicated data sets in ways that drill down to their essence.”


- Elizabeth Gordon, Senior Director, Analytic Services, Barton Cotton Fundraising, LLC
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Deirdre Harrison, COO, Eighth Blackbird

“During a stellar, fun, two-day Executive Education course at Kellogg’s Center for Nonprofit Management, Esther Choy’s sessions on storytelling in philanthropy were as much about listening and creating space for others’ stories as they were about how to craft a persuasive story quickly and effectively. We all left with an immediately actionable toolbox just in time for end of year giving season. Her book is a story recipe book for the holidays!”


- Deirdre Harrison, COO, Eighth Blackbird
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Heather Gardner, Financial Institutions Business Development, William Blair

“Esther makes storytelling look effortless. Her coaching took me to a new, elevated level by teaching me a formula I can use to create stories again and again. She challenged me and made me dig deep, especially with the self-discovery process of writing stories. I will be able to put these new tools into action throughout my career and my life. If you have the opportunity to go through the process with Esther, it is well worth your time and energy. I highly recommend Leadership Story Lab!”


- Heather Gardner, Financial Institutions Business Development, William Blair
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Steve Silzer, Marketing Director, Tyson Foods

“We worked with Leadership Story Lab to revamp our external talent marketing materials as we were heading on campus to connect with MBA students. Leadership Story Lab did a fantastic job of understanding our objectives and where we were on our journey. They helped us create a customized scope of work that unveiled several untapped themes. With Esther’s guidance, we wove these themes into our new Tyson story, and created an entirely new communication approach which fostered strong connections to potential candidates. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, since we saw a spike in conversion of more than 20 percentage points vs. historical standards, which is why we are repeating the approach again this year. I highly recommend Esther and team!”


- Steve Silzer, Marketing Director, Tyson Foods
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Ali Barnes, Multichannel Engagement Manager, Eli Lilly and Company

“I believe in the power of a good story and how that can lead to great employee engagement. Leadership Story Lab afforded our large marketing team not only the opportunity to refine our storytelling capabilities, delivering technical information to nontechnical audiences, but it also served as a phenomenal team builder. Leadership Story Lab provided us with resources that we can use to keep this time of learning and reflection alive throughout our daily work. Leadership Story Lab is a professional organization that leaves complex, corporate working teams with actionable goals and tools. We have already recommended them to over a dozen other working groups within our organization.”


- Ali Barnes, Multichannel Engagement Manager, Eli Lilly and Company
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Mike Maiorisi, Sr. Business Operations Associate, athenahealth

“I’ve been delivering presentations for years but after reading this book, I felt a change in the way I built and prepared my story. The end result was a deck that features little text, heavy pictures and mostly speaker notes…and it was extremely effective. The audience was engaged, asked questions and was generally excited over the content. I would recommend this book to anyone that delivers presentations or further, talks to people – the lessons are applicable to anything!”


- Mike Maiorisi, Sr. Business Operations Associate, athenahealth
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Marisa Bono, Senior Integration Design Manager, athenahealth

“This has been the best professional development workshop I’ve attended at athenahealth. It has taught me to reframe my thinking and communication to be more compelling.”


- Marisa Bono, Senior Integration Design Manager, athenahealth
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Lu Cheng via Google Reviews

“Esther is such as inspiring speaker. I was able to build my own story that is true to myself and unique. Got lots of positive feedback from attendees, including ‘It was fascinating to understand what others found interesting in my story vs. what I care about.'”


- Lu Cheng via Google Reviews
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Claudia Gamboa, Sr. Program Manager, Ziploc, Global RD&E, SC Johnson

“One of the benefits of moving from a presentation-style to a story-telling style is that we’ve had much better conversations, much more feedback from everyone in the room, and greater learning for our project team.”


- Claudia Gamboa, Sr. Program Manager, Ziploc, Global RD&E, SC Johnson
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James Allison, Vice President, Brookfield Investment Management.

“Once I began telling friends and family the good news about my new job, everyone wanted to know the secret: how did I go from French Literature and Retail to Finance and Real Estate? The key for me was Esther’s coaching, guidance and perspective. I left my Leadership Story Lab workshop knowing how to craft a more compelling story. How my past experience would help me navigate my future career path. How to turn my nontraditional background from a liability into an asset. And how to convince others to believe in me as much as I now believe in myself.


- James Allison, Vice President, Brookfield Investment Management.
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Glenn Hollister, Principal and Practice Leader, ZS Associates.

“I have hired Esther twice for my firm. The first time she ran a workshop for our office leadership to help them improve how they introduce themselves, especially in selling situations. The second time was to help me craft a compelling story for an important public speaking event. In both cases Esther had a significant impact how how my team and I communicate. I fully intend to hire her again.


- Glenn Hollister, Principal and Practice Leader, ZS Associates.
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Asante Sparks via Google Reviews

“Ester Choy “Let The Story Do The Work” Is Communication Art. Its a must read! It inspires you to go within and sort through your memory bank of experience that reveal and help you convey stories of your TRUE self.”


- Asante Sparks via Google Reviews
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Erin Ruehrwein, Section Director, American Bar Association

Esther Choy’s storytelling workshop was a fantastic way to kick off our law school development conference. As one of the conference’s most highly-rated sessions, attendees expressed feeling inspired and engaged from the beginning. Law school deans and development officers put their newly learned storytelling techniques to use throughout the conference and noted that attending the workshop provided a “powerful experience” and gave them new insight for making fundraising asks, developing talking points, understanding the importance of listening and communicating their school’s story, and ideas for enhancing their fundraising proposals.


- Erin Ruehrwein, Section Director, American Bar Association
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Michelle Carl Rizal, Owner & Career Coach, Career Headspace

Throughout the coaching, Esther’s challenging questions and honest feedback led me to an ‘Aha!’ moment. Suddenly, I was able to stand in my clients’ shoes and more fully understand their perspectives and needs. With this new appreciation of my audience, I was able to structure my presentation and content to add value and make a difference now and in the future . Working with Leadership Story Lab was a valuable experience and I would highly recommend them to my clients.


- Michelle Carl Rizal, Owner & Career Coach, Career Headspace
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Dan Balzer via Google Reviews

“I have attended Esther’s workshops and became inspired to develop my story telling skills. I aspired to tell a story at The Moth. Reena at Leadership Story Lab provided helpful coaching. Two weeks ago I made it onto the stage at The Moth in Chicago and won a first place score from the audience judges. Esther and team are great to work with!”


- Dan Balzer via Google Reviews