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Coaching Services

provided by Doug Lipman

What, Why, and How?:

What? Coaching that is both supportive and decisive
Doug Lipman has pioneered an approach to coaching storytellers that is effective without being negative.
Why? The benefits of being coached in this way
You, your audiences, and your storytelling community can all reap rewards.
How to get coaching from Doug Lipman

What, Why, and How?

What? Coaching that is both supportive and decisive

photo of Doug LipmanDoug Lipman has been coaching storytellers since 1979 and, since his first publication about coaching in 1990, he has become the foremost storytelling coach in the country.

Lipman has traveled from coast to coast teaching hundreds of workshops and courses on the art of storytelling to teachers, parents, librarians, and professional performers. Many graduates of his storytelling classes have become central figures in the storytelling community.

His coaching workshops have found a strong following in the corporate, as well as the non-profit, world.

Doug Lipman's unique expertise is supportive coaching that

  • creates an environment of emotional safety and
  • empowers the participant to reach their highest goals.
There is no such thing as "criticism" in Lipman's workshops. Instead he supports the teller by offering:
  1. positive feedback
  2. suggestions that also take a positive form.
Lipman's ground-breaking article in Storytelling Magazine, Friendly Persuasion," was the first to lay out guidelines for supportive coaching.

Since then, he has created an instructional video, so that his techniques can be seen in action:

cover of Coaching Storytellers videoCoaching Storytellers: A Demonstration Workshop for All Who Use Oral Communication, is a best-seller in the National Catalog of Storytelling Resources.

The video Coaching Storytellers can be used:

  • as an introduction to Doug's way of coaching,
  • to demonstrate techniques for telling stories more effectively, or
  • as a way to establish groundrules for storytellers to coach each other.

Lipman has put his detailed insights about coaching--and about storytelling--into book form:

cover of the book "The Storytelling Coach"The Storytelling Coach: How to Listen, Praise, and Bring Out People's Best won the Storytelling World resource award for books published in 1995.

Whether through his publications, his individual coaching, or his nationwide workshops, Doug has given the twin gifts of encouragement and precise assistance to hundreds of storytellers.

Your comments (and those of the group) were very insightful and gave me much food for thought. What I want to emphasize even more...your coaching style is unique, not only in the world of storytelling, but I would guess in many fields.
The way you approached each person, with respect for their material AND a belief in their ability to figure out what they needed, was more than just refreshing. It really touched something in me that I first felt 14 years ago (when I student-taught with humane, fair, child-centered teachers) and have not since witnessed.
--Ellen Feldman, Katonah, New York

What, Why, and How?

Why? The benefits of being coached in this way

Being coached by Doug Lipman--in individual sessions or in a multi-day workshop--can help you in three ways. You will be helped to

  1. Take a major step forward in your storytelling
  2. Lay a foundation for future progress
  3. Strengthen your artistic community.

1. Taking a major step forward in your storytelling

You will get precise, supportive, individualized help--with stories or issues of your choice.

  • Doug will help you with stories, performance issues, marketing, or identifying your unique strengths.
  • Doug will help you overcome whatever obstacle is most in your way.
  • In a one-day or multi-day group workshop, each person will get a turn to be coached in front of the group during each full day of the workshop.
Most of us have had teachers and other guides in our lives with a special gift for bringing out our best. Doug Lipman is that kind of storytelling coach.
--Carol Lewis, The Storytelling Center, Inc., Newsletter, New York, NY
Doug Lipman has coached me for years. He is an incisive, creative, supportive teacher...a joy.
--Jay O'Callahan, Marshfield MA

2. Laying a foundation for future progress

A coaching workshop is an investment in your future.

  • You will learn to better recognize, receive, and give help, and to form long-lasting helping relationships.
  • You will be able to apply the concepts, techniques and experiences from this storytelling workshop to other important areas in your life.
  • If you bring Doug to your area now, you will gain preference in Doug's schedule should you want repeat workshops in future years.
I thank my "lucky stars" for the wonderful teachers I've had in my lifetime, including you, dear Doug Lipman!
I treasure everything I learned from you and share it with others.
My memories of that workshop give me energy and nourishment, not only when I'm "center stage," but every day of my life!
--Barbara Aliprantis, New York, NY

3. Strengthening your artistic community

Doug's group workshops--especially when you bring Doug to your area--can help build your storytelling community.

  • You will learn as much or more by watching others being coached as by being coached yourself.
  • The group will be bonded by their shared experience as well as by their new knowledge of helping methods.
  • Your larger storytelling community will benefit from the resulting influx of supportive techniques and higher expectations for mutual assistance.
First and foremost, you created an incredibly positive and affirming atmosphere. This made it possible to open up and get to the heart of things.
--Michael Carney, Point Reyes, CA
One of the reasons I had isolated myself in my work was because I did not want to participate in a competitive environment.
You have seen a way beyond this. Good for you! Lucky for us!
--Judy Witters, Norwich, VT

What, Why, and How?

How to get coaching from Doug Lipman

You can be coached by Doug either:

  1. in the Boston area, or
  2. away from the Boston area
(For a list of currently scheduled workshops, see Upcoming Events.)

1. In the Boston area

Private coaching
Doug schedules private coaching sessions at his office in Marshfield, MA. Sessions can range from one hour to as long as you like. Please call several weeks in advance of your desired session, as Doug's schedule tends to fill up early. Fees: Doug's at-home hourly rate. Special discount: 11 hours for the price of eight!
Coaching mini-workshops
From time to time, Doug schedules one of these 4-hour mini-workshops in which four (or sometimes five) people each get coached for about 40 minutes each.
Coaching intensives
Doug will schedule one to three hours a day of private coaching, for one or more days-at your mutual convenience. In between sessions, you might want to explore the wonders of his 6,000-volume library, at no extra charge. Fees: Doug's at-home hourly rate. Special discount: 11 hours for the price of eight!
Weekend workshops
Doug sometimes offers a coaching workshop in the Boston area (limited to 8 participants). In addition, he sometimes schedules other workshops that feature coaching, such as "Long Stories" (for being coached on stories that are 45 minutes or longer--up to two hours!) or "Spiritual Stories."

2. Away from the Boston area

Schedule Doug when he comes to your area
Doug will schedule private coaching sessions or a coaching mini-workshop during his visit to any part of the country, if his travel schedule permits. Fees: Doug's on-the-road hourly rate.
Bring Doug to your area for private coaching
Doug will also travel to your area just to coach you. Fees: Doug's on-the-road hourly rate, plus travel and lodging expenses, plus travel time. (If Doug's total engagement in your area is three days or more, there is no charge for travel time.)
Coach by telephone or Skype
Purchase coaching time (from 30 minutes to 22 hours), then arrange a time via email at your and Doug's mutual convenience. At your request, Doug will record your call and email you a link where you can download the audio or video recording.
Coach by recording
If you send Doug an audio (or video) recording of your story or your thoughts about a story, etc., he will view the recording privately, then coach you over the phone. Fees: Doug's at-home hourly rate (for listening or viewing as well as for the phone call).
Organize a private workshop
A weekend coaching workshop requires only eight people and a cat-free living room. A coaching mini-workshop requires only 4 or 5 people. Send for a free organizer's packet--no obligation! Doug has special rates for first-time areas.
This option helps you build a network of coaching buddies in your own community!
Bring Doug to your conference or festival
Doug can lead a brief workshop (one-and-a-half hours to all day) as part of your conference or festival. Of course, Doug can also lead other workshops and/or perform, too.

You can choose between a general workshop on coaching storytellers, or a more focused workshop topic on a particular aspect of coaching

Doug Lipman's coaching work is strengthed by his knowledge of the dozens of different topics on which he has presented workshops.

He has also developed related services in response to the many requests he receives from story listeners, storytellers, and other professionals from all over the country.

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Doug Lipman

152 Wenonah Road, Longmeadow, MA 01106 U.S.A.
Phone: (781) 837-1940
Alternate Phone (rings the same line): (413) 754-6728
Fax (toll-free): (888) 300-6665


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This page was last updated on January 25, 2012
Copyright©2003-2012 Doug Lipman