Laura Packer has been performing, coaching, writing, consulting, giving keynotes, and leading the storytelling field for more than 25 years.
She knows the best way to the truth is through a good story and that this universally accessible artform creates empathy, builds bridges, and has the power to change the world. As the author of the award-winning From Audience to Zeal: The ABCs of Finding, Crafting, and Telling a Great Story and the accompanying workbook, she is committed to helping others find their voice. As the creator of #storyseeds she is dedicated to helping others deepen thrive creativity.
Laura has received many awards. In 2020 she was inducted into the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence in recognition of her mastery, excellence, and dedication to the art of storytelling. Other awards include the 2020 Storytelling World Award for her Audience to Zeal books; 2018 Minnesota GrandSlam; best in Fringe in Kansas City in 2016 and 2018; the J. J. Reneaux Mentoring Grant from the National Storytelling Network in 2016; 2012 League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling Brother Blue Award; finalist in the 2009 and 2010 Boston Story Slam series; recipient of the 2010 National Storytelling Network Oracle Award and others.
Laura has told in venues as wide ranging as festivals, theaters, government agencies, corporate stages, in the streets, in prisons, schools, assisted living facilities, libraries, hospices and more. Her audiences range from 4 years old to over 100 and in size from the intimacy of a good-night story to 5000 seat auditoria. She is a past Chair of Sharing the Fire, the oldest, largest regional storytelling conference in the US, past board member of both the League for Advancement of New England Storytelling and the National Storytelling Network, and current board member of StoryArtsMN. Laura has also hosted several Boston, Kansas City and Minneapolis area storytelling venues. In addition to her performances, Laura’s keynotes and talks are interactive and engaging. She strives to leave her audiences with new skills and new stories. Her coaching is supportive and full of curiosity.
In her quest to help people tell their own stories, Laura has taught storytelling, writing and public speaking globally. Students have ranged from aspiring storytellers to corporate executives to librarians to elders to mental health professionals to artists to IT leaders and more.
As sole proprietor of thinkstory organizational storytelling, Laura helps both for- and non-profit organizations communicate more effectively through coaching and storytelling techniques. Through listening and speaking exercises as well as story gathering and telling experiences, organizations come to a clearer understanding of their vision, needs and possibilities. Her one-day storytelling workshop, Stand Up and Speak Out: Tools for Effective Self Promotion, presented at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center was endorsed as “More useful than you could possibly imagine.” Her previous work at iRobot, the nation’s leading consumer robotics firm, was seminal in shaping the company’s view of its own history and future mission.