Speak Up offering storytelling workshops

Until we have our Speak Up website up and running, I’ll continue to post information here about our upcoming shows and workshops. We are in the process of wrapping up our second round of workshops and beginning our first advanced storytelling workshop.


Information on all our future workshops are below:

Speak Up is currently enrolling people in our upcoming  storytelling workshops. We have beginning and advanced classes starting soon. Whether your goal is to take the stage someday or improve your work performance through better presentation skills or simply become a better storyteller around the dinner table or meet new people, we may have something for you.  

If you're interested, the information is below. If you would like to get specifics in terms of availability and dates, you can email speakupstorytelling@gmail.com.

Thanks as always for all of the support!

Speak Up currently offers two different storytelling workshops based upon preference and need. 

The first is our traditional beginning storytelling class, and the second is an advanced storytelling class. You are not required to attend a beginning storytelling workshop in order to enroll in the advanced class, but it's recommended if you have no previous public speaking experience.  


The goals of the beginning storytelling workshop include:

  • Methods for generating ideas for stories from your life experiences (you have more stories than you realize!)
  • The structure and arc of an effective story 
  • The critical elements of an effective story
  • Story manipulation based upon audience and setting
  • Factors to consider for competitive storytelling
  • Revising a story for audience appeal and time restrictions
  • Humor
  • Suspense
  • Performance technique

In addition to modeling and instruction, participants are invited to develop a story of their own over the course of the workshop that will be presented to the class for critique.

By the end of the workshop, our hope that every participant will have at least one story ready to go for a future performance, though this is not required. Our previous workshops have included professionals looking to improve their public speaking skills, people looking to become better keepers of their families' stories, teachers and professors working on their lecture skills, and folks simply looking to meet new people and try something new. 

But if you're interested in performing at a future Speak Up storytelling show or elsewhere, our workshops are a good place to start as well. 

The first five sessions of the workshop are taught by professional storyteller and 11-time Moth StorySLAM champion Matthew Dicks. He is joined for the final class by Speak Up host and producer Elysha Dicks, who specializes in working with storytellers (including Matthew) to revise their stories. 


Advanced storytelling will focus on the storyteller's actual performance. Every participant will be asked to tell at least one story during the course of the six classes (and hopefully more), and workshops are held every other week. This will allow participants more time to prepare stories for the class. 

Following each story will be an extensive critique in a friendly, non-threatening, low-stakes environment that targets story construction, performance and revision. 

Additional goals include:

  • Formulating anecdotes and story kernels into fully realized stories
  • The development of humor, suspense and high stakes in a story
  • The effective use of loaded language
  • Revision for time constraints

The first four sessions will be taught by Matthew Dicks, with Elysha Dicks joining the class for the last two sessions to bring her considerable revision and critique talent to the class.  

The cost of both the beginning and advanced workshop is $225.