Best Storytelling Courses Online [2021]

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Have you always had an affinity towards writing and storytelling, but didn’t know where to begin? Have you always wanted to improve your storytelling and communication skills at work, but found that it was more difficult than you expected it to be? Fear not, because you’ve come to the right place. 

The internet is full of options, and you’ve probably been for the best Storytelling courses online. Look no further! We’ve put together a list of the best Storytelling courses available online. 

We have ranked the following courses based on the highest number of 5-star ratings, student reviews, and instructor quality.

The Best Storytelling Courses Online 

1. The Story Course – Storytelling Masterclass (Udemy)

Storytelling Masterclass (Udemy)

This is the best storytelling course online! You will learn how to tell stories that capture people’s attention from a professional filmmaker and narrator. 

The course shows you how to originate and tell people stories that speak to you, using principles and techniques to apply to what you learn. From being learning what makes a great story to software and resources that can help you tell stories better, this course has got it all. You will learn how to develop an effective workflow to create your stories and breathe life into them. You will also learn how to make money using the different methods and techniques that you’ll come to master in the course. 

In addition to learners interested in gaining knowledge about storytelling, this course is also beneficial for writers, public speakers, marketers, video makers, documentary filmmakers, YouTubers, podcasters, business owners, professional storytellers, and other creative professionals. 

Paul Jenkins teaches this course. He is a documentary filmmaker, audiobook narrator, writer, and founder of Brilliantio, an online storytelling platform. Jenkins has over 20 years of experience as a documentary filmmaker. After a successful career making documentaries, Jenkins now devotes his time to helping professionals and organizations increase their impact using storytelling through different narrative skills. 

This course has over two and a half hours of video footage. It comes with a certificate of completion, 32 lectures, nine articles, two downloadable resources, and access on mobile devices and television. You will learn about developing the elements of a story, setting, characters, and progression, and all about workflow and practical tools to build a story. Jenkins’ course has a 4.6-star rating, and over 9,000 students have signed up for it. 

Review by Lilian Banin

This course was an excellent match for me as I was able to redesign my course right at the beginning of its creation process by considering several successful key factors learned in storytelling. Paul Jenkins conveys tremendous knowledge in film making and narration through the efficacious and straightforward video classes prepared for this course. I highly recommend this course for any person who aims at building a story of impact for work or life.

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2. The Complete Storytelling Course for Speaking & Presenting (Udemy)

The ComplSpeaking & Presenting (Udemy)

The next item on our list is another one of the best storytelling courses available online. This lengthy course is full of comprehensive material that will help you put together a polished story while also helping you keep track of the details and minor elements of the story. As this course focuses on both storytelling and presentation skills, you will learn how to put a story together and deliver it well. 

TJ Walker teaches this course. He is the founder of Media Training Worldwide and has been conducting public speaking training workshops and seminars since 1984. Walker has trained some of the most influential people globally, from Presidents of countries, Prime Ministers, and Nobel Peace Prize winners to Super Bowl winners, US Senators, Miss Universes, and even various Members of Parliament. Additionally, Walker has conducted presentation and media training workshops on six continents in more than two dozen countries.

Features of the Course: 

  • 29 hours of video footage
  • 599 lectures
  • Two articles
  • Six downloadable resources 
  • Access on mobile devices and television
  • Certificate of completion 

What You’ll Learn: 

  • How to have confidence in your stories
  • Selecting a winning message for your audience
  • How to test a story
  • The stagecraft of storytelling
  • How to use the full range of your voice when telling a story
  • Avoiding common blunders
  • How to eliminate a fear of public speaking

Over 29,000 students have signed up for this course, and it has a 4.5-star rating on Udemy.

Review by Matthew Martinez

This man is my father figure. I admire him and love him as if he were family. It’s a strong word, but through the passion of engagement, I believe we are kin. These seeds he’s planted in this course and into our consciousness are the seeds that will empower us to make a lasting effect on others in the world! Indeed, a remarkable course. It would be an honor to one day meet this guy.

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3. Transmedia Storytelling: Narrative worlds, Emerging Technologies, and Global Audiences (Coursera)

Transmedia Storytelling - Narrative worlds, Emerging Technologies, and Global Audiences (Coursera)

As written in the description of this course, “transmedia storytelling is the practice of designing, sharing, and participating in a cohesive story experience across multiple traditional and digital delivery platforms – for entertainment, advertising, and marketing, or social change.” This course will provide you with a unique and authentic opportunity to learn from theories and industry experts whose advice will give you the tools you need to develop your ideas related to storytelling. 

UNSW Sydney (University of New South Wales) offers this course. There are five instructors; they are: 

  • Associate Professor, Simon McIntyre. Simon is the Associate Dean of Education at UNSW Sydney, Art & Design, and a Scientia Education Fellow. He is a multi-award-winning educator, passionate about improving the effectiveness, quality, and relevance of the student learning experience and a pedagogically driven use of technology to innovate learning and teaching practices. 
  • Senior Lecturer, Dr. Ollie Brown. Dr. Brown is a researcher and maker working with creative technologies. He comes from a highly diverse academic background spanning social anthropology, evolutionary and adaptive systems, music informatics, and interaction design, with a parallel career in electronic music and digital art spanning over 15 years.
  • Associate Professor, Emma Robertson. Her work investigates theories of mapping, and new developments in creative thinking processes as applied to drawing, design, and other disciplines. In her practice, she explores the relationships between words, objects, and memory in mixed media drawings and book works.
  • Lecturer, Dr. George Khut. He is a lecturer at UNSW. 
  • Associate Lecturer, Dr. Geoffrey Koh. Dr. Koh is a practicing artist. He has exhibited work in venues such as the Barbican and Southbank Centre in London, United Kingdom, for festivals such as the Singapore Design Festival, and in Munster, Berlin, Vienna, Crete, Tokyo other world-class venues.

Features of the Course: 

  • Six weeks long
  • Requires 2-6 hours of study per week 
  • 41 reading materials
  • Four quizzes 
  • A shareable certificate is available with Coursera Plus.

Please note that while you can sign up for this course for free, you can also sign up for Coursera Plus and receive a shareable Certificate of Completion. The shareable Certificate of Completion is available only with Coursera Plus. Coursera Plus costs $399 a year, with a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you purchase the certificate, you will gain unlimited access to all the course materials and graded assignments. Once you have completed the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page, where you can print or add it to your LinkedIn profile.

What You’ll Learn: 

  • Shape your ideas into compelling and well-structured narratives and complex story worlds
  • Identify, understand, and engage different audiences in your stories
  • Create cohesive user experiences across different platforms
  • Evaluate existing and emerging technologies to share your story with the world, and help your audience participate in the larger story world you create
  • What transmedia storytelling is 
  • How to build a story world 
  • How to generate creative ideas 
  • Understanding a transmedia audience
  • Using creative technologies 
  • The transmedia user experience

Over 71,000 students have signed up for this course, and it has a 4.7-rating on Coursera.

Review by Mariela

This is an outstanding course, and I highly recommend it to people who want to get familiar with the topic and also to those who want to start a career as a transmedia storyteller. The course structure is motivating and coherent (essential concept explanations, interviews with a number of world-leading transmedia professionals to learn practical tips and strategies, practical activities). Furthermore, recommended readings and sites are useful to complement the course material. Finally, there is a project for participants to apply their knowledge and creativity.

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4. Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning: Digital Storytelling (Coursera)

Powerful Tools for Teaching and Learning

This next course introduces educators to digital storytelling and explores ways to use digital stories to enhance students’ learning experiences. This course is designed to be both comprehensive and fundamental. It will provide you with a solid foundation teaching you all the components of a digital story. These components include tutorials, example stories, and links to additional readings. The course provides you with a hands-on opportunity for learners to create your own digital stories. It also covers creating a digital story starting with just a simple script and as little as one image. 

The University of Houston offers this course, and it is taught by Bernard R. Robin and Sara G. McNeil. Dr. Robin is an Associate Professor of Learning, Design, and Technology at the University of Houston. He teaches traditional and online courses on integrating technology into the curriculum, educational uses of multimedia, and the design and development of community-based websites. Dr. Robin’s courses focus on the educational benefits of various multimedia tools, including digital storytelling, digital video, and digital photography. McNeil is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Learning, Design, and Technology graduate program at the University of Houston. She teaches courses in instructional design, collaborative design, multimedia development, and the visual representation of information.

Features of the Course: 

  • Five weeks long
  • Requires 2-3 hours of study per week 
  • Subtitles available in Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Italian, Vietnamese, German, Russian, English, Spanish, Persian
  • 11 reading materials
  • Seven quizzes 
  • A shareable certificate of completion is available with Coursera Plus

Please note that while you can sign up for this course for free, you can also sign up for Coursera Plus and receive a shareable Certificate of Completion. The shareable Certificate of Completion is available only with Coursera Plus. Coursera Plus costs $399 a year, with a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you purchase the certificate, you will gain unlimited access to all the course materials and graded assignments. Once you have completed the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page, where you can print or add it to your LinkedIn profile.

What You’ll Learn: 

  • Choosing a topic and defining your purpose
  • Writing a compelling script and creating a storyboard
  • Recording a narration 
  • Assembling the elements of your story

Over 46,000 students have signed up for this course, and it has a 4.6-star rating on Coursera.

Review by Vaishak S

I am happy I took up this course. This course is so well structured. I prepare product video guides for my customers, who are teachers. Despite that, I never used a storyboard. But, after coming to the course, I understood that there was a process called storyboard and that you have to prepare the script in advance. I learned about Jamendo, about WeVideo editor, and a lot of valuable things. I would have missed it. Glad I didn’t. The only feedback is, the video stories on the digital storytelling website take a little time to play, and the interface looks a little old. Definitely a course for learning to make stories.

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5. Storytelling for Business (Udemy)

Storytelling for Business (Udemy)

We would recommend this next course for creative professionals, teachers, marketers and advertisers, PR professionals, and teachers as well. 

Kevin Allison teaches this course. He has created all kinds of stories, from writing and acting work on the legendary, critically acclaimed sketch comedy series The State on MTV, Stella, Reno 911!, Flight of the Conchords, to the performance troupe Blue Man Group. He is also the head instructor at The Story Studio. 

Features of the Course: 

  • Two hours of video footage
  • 17 lectures
  • 12 downloadable resources
  • Access on mobile devices and television 
  • Certificate of completion 

What You’ll Learn: 

  • You’ll learn how to include The 6 Senses in your story scenes to trigger emotional responses. 
  • You’ll master The 5 Beats of classic story structure. 
  • You’ll know how to drive your narrative toward one unique selling point. 
  • You’ll acquire a story brainstorming, workshopping, and performance-honing process you can apply again and again.

Over 5,000 students have signed up for this course, and it has a 4.7-star rating on Udemy.

Review by Barbara Gershman

This is a fantastic course—great content, delivery, and examples. There are ideas and examples that are good for the written word and the spoken word. Production quality was so good that my cat sat across from the computer and listened to the individuals tell his or her story at the end of the course. She does that with a few tv commercials that have a way of attracting attention. The instructor owns the content and communicates it very well. He applied the ideas in his storytelling/presentation that he gives to course attendees.

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6. Storytelling for Social Change (edX)

Storytelling for Social Change (edX)

This excellent edX course will help you develop skills to deliver stories that affect audiences and shape attitudes to affect social change. You will learn how to build empathy and create characters that can offer various perspectives on complex problems. In this course, theatre artists and professional storytellers will share their experiences and expertise about telling a story that develops empathy and delivers impact. 

We’d like to recommend this course to the following audiences:

  • Professionals working in not-for-profit or commercial sectors
  • Entertainment industry development teams
  • Writers and art enthusiasts
  • Community workers and social activists
  • Marketing and development teams
  • Educators and public speakers
  • Customer service representatives

‘Storytelling for Social Change’ is offered by the University of Michigan, and Anita Gonzalez teaches it. She is the Chair of Dance and Professor of Theatre and Drama at the University of Michigan, promoting internationalism in the arts, engaged learning, and interdisciplinary research.

Features of the Course:

  • Five weeks long 
  • Requires 1-3 hours of study per week 
  • Self-paced
  • Introductory level content
  • Verified certificate available 

Please note: While the course itself is free, you can add a Verified Certificate for $49. This is a certificate signed by the instructors with the institution’s logo. It has the power to increase your job prospects and is also easily shareable; you can include it on your resume or CV or share it on your LinkedIn profile.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How professionals use stories to elicit social change.
  • How to introduce multiple perspectives into stories for social impact.
  • How to identify an audience, communicate a message, and develop a solid protagonist to deliver your message.
  • How empathy and belief systems affect storytellers and audience members.
  • How to use visual elements to enhance a storytelling project.

Over 35,000 students have signed up for this course, and it has a 4.7-star rating on the FutureLearn website. 

Review by Graham S on FutureLearn:

The course was challenging, but that is the point as it was addressing wicked social change issues. It was a storytelling journey that you needed to understand its creative path. Anita was a great master of ceremonies, and she pulled in an interesting team of speakers. I also liked the mentor who kept us on our toes. As the course progressed then the material became more diverse. This resulted in researching far and beyond the 2 hours a week. The assignments were good, but the reiterative nature was lost to some. As Vince Mountain said, it is a creative journey process when designing staged worlds. The monologue assignment required a lot of enjoyable research while listening to Bob Dylan. The Storyboarding – well used my crafty technique. As for some techno glitches, I have fed them back to the course. Ultimately it is like a creative fitness gym.

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7. Storytelling in the Workplace (edX) 

Storytelling in the Workplace (edX)

The next item on our list is a part of an edX Professional Certificate. Still, we choose to include it on its own because this course focuses solely on storytelling. You will learn about the structure of a narrative and how it varies depending upon the situation, the medium used, and the audience. 

The Rochester Institute of Technology offers this certification. Ammina Kothari is the instructor for this course. Professor Kothari is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she is also the Program Director for Communication and Media Technologies. Professor Kothari teaches various journalism and communication classes, including Intro to Journalism, Mass Communications, and Communication, Gender and Media. Her research focuses on issues related to health, gender, technology, and religion that are situated within the contexts of global communication, journalism, and media studies.

Features of the Course: 

  • Three weeks long
  • Requires 4-6 hours of study per week
  • Introductory level content
  • Self-paced 

Please note: While the course itself is free, you can add a Verified Certificate for $199. This is a certificate signed by the instructors with the institution’s logo. It has the power to increase your job prospects and is also easily shareable; you can include it on your resume or CV or share it on your LinkedIn profile.

What You’ll Learn: 

  • Understand the elements of compelling stories and how to use them in the workplace
  • How to tailor your message to a defined target audience
  • How to structure written messages for maximum audience impact, taking into consideration tone, style, point of view
  • How various platforms convey messages differently in a professional setting

If you are interested in signing up for the Communication Skills Professional Certificate, you can click here for more information. The three courses in the certificate are: 

  • Storytelling in the workplace
  • Public speaking 
  • Visual Presentation

The cost for the full certification and program experience is $537. 

While we were unable to include any reviews for the course, we have included some information about the job outlook after completing this course, as taken from the Communication Skills Professional Certificate page on the edX website. 

  • According to Burning Glass Labor Insights data, communication is the #1 requisite skill sought after by employers, and writing and presentation skills are in the top 10. 
  • GMAC Recruiters reports that oral and written communication and presentation skills are among the top 5 sought-after skills by employers looking for management roles. 
  • According to Burning Glass Technologies, writing and communication skills are scarce and in-demand across nearly every occupation, even in technical fields.

Click here to sign up for the storytelling course, and click here to sign up for the Professional Certificate. 

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8. Storytelling That Delivers Program and Project Outcomes (edX) 

Storytelling That Delivers Program and Project Outcomes (edX)

Just like the previous item on our list, this course is also part of a Professional Certificate. However, we’ve chosen to include it individually for learners interested in learning about the storytelling aspect of program delivery and leadership. You will understand how great program and project managers use their storytelling skills to create compelling project visions, persuade stakeholders, and design effective risk management strategies.

The University of Maryland offers this Certificate and course, and Bill Brantley teaches it. Dr. Brantley is a certified training manager and certified in creating leadership development programs. He is the program manager for the Career Coaching Program at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Features of the Course: 

  • Five weeks long 
  • Requires 3-5 hours of study per week
  • Introductory level content
  • Self-paced 
  • Verified certificate available 

Please note: While the course itself is free, you can add a Verified Certificate for $199. This is a certificate signed by the instructors with the institution’s logo. It has the power to increase your job prospects and is also easily shareable; you can include it on your resume or CV or share it on your LinkedIn profile.

What You’ll Learn: 

  • Explain the structure and components of stories.
  • Create a vision and status stories for your project or program using common story structures.
  • Utilize stories to help you better manage risks on programs and projects.
  • Use stories to help you in negotiations and managing stakeholders.

If you are interested in signing up for the Program Management and the Art of Communication Professional Certificate, you can click here for more information. The courses included in the certificate program are: 

  • Effective Communication for Program and Project Stakeholders and Teams 
  • Persuasion and Presence for Program and Project Managers 
  • Managing Conflicts on Projects with Cultural and Emotional Intelligence 
  • Designing Project Information Hubs for Program and Project Performance 
  • Storytelling That Delivers Program and Project Outcomes

While we were unable to include any reviews for the course, we have included some information about the job outlook after completing this course, as taken from the Program Management and the Art of Communication Professional Certificate page on the edX website. 

  • Project Manager jobs to grow by 33% over next ten years (Source: PMI.org) 
  • A Program Manager’s annual salary is $98k to $172k (Salary.com.) 
  • Power Skills cannot be automated and inherently protect the learner from impacts of automation in the workplace.
  • Emotional Maturity Skills are highly correlated with project success (Chaos Report 2015, Standish Group) 
  • The top 4 out of 5 skills that matter to Executives are soft skills, according to IBM’s 2018 Global Survey (IBM).

Click here to sign up for the storytelling course, and click here to sign up for the Professional Certificate. 

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9. Presentation Skills: Speechwriting and Storytelling (Coursera)

Presentation Skills: Speechwriting and Storytelling (Coursera)

The last item on our list is a course that is part of a Coursera Specialization. You will learn how to structure your ideas, facts, and data into a logically convincing story using a narrative structure. This course covers the fundamentals of scriptwriting, packing, argumentation, and language.

National Research Tomsk State University offers this course, and Alexei Kapterev teaches it. Kapterev is the author of “Death by PowerPoint,” the world’s most popular presentation on presentations, with over 10 million views to date. He runs a consulting practice in addition to working with Mercator, Russia’s leading business graphics company. He also teaches visual communication at the Graduate School of Business Administration, Moscow State University. In 2012, he was awarded honorary membership in the UK Speechwriting Guild. 

Features of the Course: 

  • Six weeks long 
  • 460 hours of study to complete
  • 24 reading materials 
  • 17 quizzes
  • Subtitles available in Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Italian, Vietnamese, German, Russian, English, Spanish
  • Self-paced
  • Flexible deadlines
  • Certificate of completion available after finishing the Specialization

Please note that while you can audit any of the courses in the Specialization for free, you can also sign up for Coursera Plus and receive a shareable certificate of completion once you have finished all of the courses. The shareable Certificate of Completion is available only with Coursera Plus. Coursera Plus costs $399 a year, with a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you purchase the certificate, you will gain access to all the course materials and graded assignments. Once you have completed the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page, where you can print or add it to your LinkedIn profile.

These are the features that come with signing up for Coursera Plus:

  • Shareable Certificates
  • Self-Paced Learning Option
  • Course Videos & Readings
  • Practice Quizzes
  • Graded Assignments with Peer Feedback
  • Graded Quizzes with Feedback
  • Graded Programming Assignments

What You’ll Learn: 

  • How to set goals for a presentation
  • Sustaining interest
  • Providing evidence
  • Organizing your presentation
  • Choosing the correct language for a presentation
  • How to gain audience trust and erase confusion 

If you are interested in signing up for the Specialization, you can click here for more information. The courses included in the Specialization are: 

  • Presentation Skills: Speechwriting and storytelling
  • Presentation Skills: Designing Presentation Slides
  • Presentation Skills: Effective Presentation Delivery
  • Presentation Skills: Public Speaking Project 

Review by Aastha S

Excellent course, excellent material, excellent instructor. I would definitely recommend it to any student or professional because this course covers all the things you need to know for delivering a good presentation. The course contents are perfectly tailored, and it provides statistics and proof for everything the instructor has to say. Alexei, I wish I had done your course when I started college. I regret delivering the presentations the way in my college after doing your course. Hands down, this is the best course on presentation skills I have ever encountered.

Click here to sign up for the storytelling course, and click here to sign up for the Specialization.

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Here are some FAQs about Storytelling courses

How do you become a professional Storyteller?

The answer to this question depends entirely on the kinds of storytelling that you want to do. If you think about it, jobs in the communications field require storytelling in different forms. The courses included in this article cater to various forms of storytelling. By signing up for one of them, you are taking a step in the right direction as a storyteller of any sort! 

Can you make money as a storyteller?

Again, the answer to this question depends on the kind of storytelling that you want to do. The average salary for a storyteller is $51,000 in the USA. 

There is a storyteller within each one of us. Sign up for one of the courses mentioned in this article and unleash your storytelling and communication skills out into the world!

About the author: Hey there! I’m Vince. I’m a trained and practicing teacher with experience in e-learning and course design, along with having an extensive background in building and maintaining websites. I started EduTest Labs to help course creators and students find the best resources (without the BS).