Telling Your Community’s Story

Storytelling is one of the most important skills in putting your community’s best foot forward.  This virtual interactive elective will teach you how to craft and communicate stories that make your community stand out and be noticed.  

Are you ever in a position where you need to express who you are, what you do, and/or influence people?  A well-crafted story can help you do so in a memorable way.  Storytelling and engagement go hand in hand and this course will focus on the benefits of using story to create a compelling business narrative and inspire others to follow your lead. 

You will learn important storytelling tools and use a template to help you think through the development of your community or personal story.  Finally, you will have the opportunity to practice sharing your story and get valuable feedback from your classmates.

As a participant, you will:

  • Understand the power to engage people through storytelling – your boards, your coworkers, your communities
  • Apply the four keys to engagement to your own audiences
  • Identify the elements of an effective story
  • Develop a compelling story
    • describing who you are as an organization/community, or
    • that inspires action

This course is one of a series of economic development courses, provided by UT Center for Industrial Services (UT CIS), designed to share best practices and trends with Tennessee’s economic development practitioners, private industry leaders, community leaders and elected officials.​

Date and Location:

September 27, 2023 |  Online  

Course Agenda:

Coming soon!

Course Fee:

Registration $195

The registration fee covers course materials and instruction. Registration is limited to 50 participants and is filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  Please remit payment for the course no later than 10 days prior to the course start date.  If payment is not received, you risk having your registration cancelled to make room for those on the waitlist.

Course Times:

8:30 - 1:00 CST | 9:30 - 2:00  EST  

How to Register:

If you need assistance accessing your account, please contact Carol Jones, 615-253-6371 or 
You may also register by submitting a Course Registration Form by email. 

Cancellation and Refund Policy:

Cancellations made 7 days or more prior to the course start date will be eligible for a full refund or credit.  Cancellations made less than 7 days will be eligible for credit only for a future course.  

Other TCED Economic Development Courses:


Martha Kelley 

Martha Kelley


Martha Kelley serves as a Performance Improvement Consultant with the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Studies, focusing on both internal and client-driven process improvement projects.  She also is a member of the CIS economic development team working with the Tennessee Certified Economic Developer program and serves as the strategic planning project manager for the Institute for Public Service.

Teaching experience includes team and personal development course work for a variety of university clients.  Areas of expertise include:  continuous quality improvement, strategic planning, delivering quality service, team training, “hiring the best," and leadership development.  She is certified in the Myers Briggs Type Inventory, the FIRO-B (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation - Behavior) assessment of behavior in teams, and the CPI 260 executive coaching tool.  She developed and regularly teaches courses and conducts personal feedback sessions focusing on each tool. Currently she is serving as the manager of the strategic plan for the five agencies comprising the Institute for Public Service. 

She also serves as an independent consultant with a variety of business, non-profit, medical, and educational organizations.  Current projects include: facilitating the Physician Leadership College of the Tennessee Medical Association, and serving as a project manager for the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence annual conference, She also has advised and continues to facilitate updates for the strategic planning processes in higher education, nonprofit, and business entities.  She developed a centralized training plan for the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and helped develop the Physician Leadership Program for the Mississippi State Medical Association, serving on the inaugural faculty.

She is a summa cum laude graduate of Middle Tennessee State University in speech communications and completed her Master’s degree in psychology from the same institution.  She is an active participant and presenter in numerous professional organizations.