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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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
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Cameron Nelson, Director of Advancement, Concordia Place

Esther’s approach to mining for and refining stories taught me how a single story can ultimately be utilized for different scenarios. This has proved helpful in my fundraising efforts because I can tailor the same story to resonate with different individuals depending on what their interest is.


- Cameron Nelson, Director of Advancement, Concordia Place
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Seanna Mullen Sumrak, Advancement Officer, Cristo Rey Network

Esther’s storytelling workshop was a great addition to our Development Conference. From honing written storytelling skills, weaving important data into a narrative, and practicing selling our story in-person, the variety of activities not only allowed our participants time to get feedback from one another but also really offered tools we can draw on for the future. The stories our organization and our member schools have to tell are inspiring and compelling. Through Esther’s workshop, we were able to work on and strengthen our ability to tell that story more seamlessly, effortlessly, and in multiple contexts. It was truly a day well spent.


- Seanna Mullen Sumrak, Advancement Officer, Cristo Rey Network
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Gretchen Grad, Founder, Hands of Peace

“Only three days after the Program, I was able to apply the lessons learned and secured the second largest individual gift in our history. The training directly and tangibly shaped how we approach donor meetings and asks – it gave us the confidence and the tools to create excitement, commitments and results!”


- Gretchen Grad, Founder, Hands of Peace
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Jared Berman, Innovation Manager, U.S. Cellular.

“I would highly recommend her session for anyone looking to step up their communication skills, especially if you are in need of internal selling of ideas, projects or concepts within a corporate environment.”


- Jared Berman, Innovation Manager, U.S. Cellular.
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Trevor Cook, Managing Director, AMP Capital.

“Without Esther and her Storyboarding process we would have never won this important account in the world’s most challenging and rewarding market.


- Trevor Cook, Managing Director, AMP Capital.