Looking For A Storytelling Workshop?

One way that I offer support the design community is with my storytelling workshops. I invite participants to think about how they’re explaining their work and suggest ways they can do it more effectively. Typically, these workshops are interactive, 90-minute sessions where participants can join the discussion via chat, but I’m happy to personalize them to meet your group’s needs.

I generally start with the rationale behind good storytelling and how to use it. Then, I’ll give some tips on what content to include and how to create a structure. We’ll talk about how to write for a specific audience and how to use the best words to evoke emotion.

In the second half, I like to show examples and invite participants to share their work. I also provide a PDF handout of the tips to all participants. These workshops have been really fun, so I’d love to do more of them. If you’re interested, let’s talk!

Reviews From Past Workshop Hosts

AIGA logo

Jessica generously volunteered her time and expertise in offering a 90 minute workshop for members of AIGA, a non-profit organization and the largest professional association for design in the United States. The workshop had just over 100 participants and included designers ranging from recent graduates to more experienced professionals. Jessica offered tips and tactics for more effective writing for professional design portfolios, and offered specific feedback to participants’ work. She fostered a great learning environment by offering feedback in a patient and positive way.”

Lee-Sean Huang
Design Education Manager
Design Buddies logo

Jessica hosted a Design Your Portfolio Language with Design Buddies, a fast-growing design community. Her presentation was very organized and had content that both beginners and experienced individuals could take away from. She also walked us through examples of different portfolios while relating it back to the content in her presentation which was helpful for understanding. We had over 120 attendees and members of the community attend and overall they had a great time! I’d recommend Jessica’s workshop to other organizations!”

Grace Ling
Design Buddies

BRIDGEGOOD, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit design studio that prepares student Creatives of color for tech careers had the pleasure to work with Jessica Gardner. Jessica gave a thoughtful presentation to BRIDGEGOOD Creatives titled “Design your Portfolio Language.” Our students were excited and engaged throughout the presentation and asked Jessica many meaningful questions. Without a doubt, the lesson helped students amplify their writing skills.”

Yudy Herrera Orellana
Program Manager

During the presentation, I was struck by Jessica’s ability to both inspire an audience and convey such accurate and important information. She made every point that I’ve heard from employers when they are viewing portfolios. They want to get to know the person. They want to understand how you think and solve problems. Today’s designers need more than just a cold, “here are the facts” presentation of “beauty” shots. Designers have to tell a story about their ideas and methods. Students were inspired and engaged. She’s already made a difference in how they approach their work.”

Mari Hulick
SFSU School of Design
Women Talk Design logo

“We worked with Jess to set up a workshop for the Women Talk Design community. She was communicative throughout the process, organized, and very open to feedback which is so important to us when working with instructors. The SAUCE framework is a practical way to think about bringing story into any presentation, which is a valuable skill for any creative!”

Danielle Barnes
Women Talk Design