A Handbook for Leaders, Writers and Speakers

A practical handbook on how to tell stories. Includes stories and creative exercises to inspire, inform and entertain.


StoryWorks is a practical handbook on how to tell stories. It ranges from classic tools like the ‘Rule of Threes’ to the new mnemonic ‘Five Finger Technique’. There are creative exercises, applied resources, and many stories to expand your narrative repertoire.

When you have something to say, the best way to communicate is by telling a story. This book shows you how to do that effectively. Great writers know the power of narrative. Teachers and trainers use words as a tool for transformation. When you have a story to share or a novel to write, you’ll find material here to inspire, to inform and to entertain.

If you’re a writer wanting to improve your skills, a coach or leader looking for new ideas, a teacher working with young people – this book will help you tell better stories.


A good speech is a powerful implement. A great speech can turn the course of history. But if there is one thing that strikes fear into the hearts of many people, it is the thought of public speaking. Even the most experienced presenter can get it wrong. Yet in this media-dominated world, it is something that no-one with any ambition can easily avoid. It’s as simple as this: Good communicators have better careers. People remember stories, not facts. ‘StoryWorks’ demonstrates the sheer power of storytelling. The power to influence and persuade. The power to sell or change a point of view. ‘StoryWorks’ is an invaluable handbook which will help you master a few simple techniques and become an impactful speaker whether you are addressing two or three people or two or three hundred. ~ Jeff Grout, Business Speaker & Executive Consultant, listed in the ‘100 Best Business Speakers in Britain’

Telling a good tale is key to holding an audience’s attention. A gifted storyteller herself, Jane Bain’s show-and-tell method of teaching goes down easily as a bowl of Goldilocks’ ‘just-right’ porridge. Her five-finger technique demystifies narrative for those who want their stories to grab readers and listeners like Bain’s do. ~ Susan Welsh, Book Reviewer & Journalist

Storytelling is an essential part of selling yourself. Whether you’re applying for a new job, pitching for an internal promotion or networking with colleagues, other people’s perception of who you are and what you’re good at is shaped by your ability to tell your story. However, many people struggle to tell their story effectively. Interview questions such as, “Tell me about yourself?” are commonly used and often the most challenging to answer. ‘StoryWorks’ is one of the most useful handbooks I have seen for anyone looking to improve workplace performance and career prospects. An awful lot of career success is built around perception rather than fact: storytelling is the new marketing! ~ Tony Heard, CEO, Abintegro Career Management.

This is a brilliant book that really hammers home how storytelling is SO important, whether you're a journalist, marketing exec or speaker. Nobody listens to facts, here's a surefire way to get your audience intrigued and engaged. Jane's practical guide includes creative exercises and demonstrates the sheer power of storytelling to influence and persuade. A great read for anyone who thinks they are boring! ~ Susan Grossman, 'WriteWords', Amazon

Storyworks provides a practical guide to how a business leader can engage with customers, investors and employees. It cleverly shows how stories can get bring an emotional commitment whilst getting the same commitment from the reader by reminding them of the safe and happy world of the stories they were told as children. Before you know it, story telling seems both fun and easy. I had heard some of the stories before but there were many interesting ones that were new to me as well. By organising the stories around themes the author allows you to see the stories as means of getting messages across effectively rather than just good reads. The book has a very useful section which takes typical business challenges like competing and links them back to a story. You could just use the story provided or, even better, use the tips in the book to adapt the story around something that will resonate with your particular audience. If your job requires you to persuade sceptical or simply bored people then I would recommend Storyworks to you. It builds upon the skill of telling stories that we are all familiar with and shows how something which we take for granted can be very powerful. ~ Mike Bury, Company Chairman

Educational, enchanting and packed full of ideas for how to enhance communication skills, this easy to read and absorbing book is an invaluable aid to anyone wishing to get their message across in a powerful and effective way. As a management trainer specializing in cross-cultural presentation, leadership and meetings skills, I highly recommend StoryWorks as a great resource. ~ John Kent, Management Trainer, Amazon

Finding a book that is both useful and a great read is rare and this is one of those books. The stories remind you of the childhood wonder that I thought I had lost and I found myself being transported but at the same time Jane gives you an insight into each story. I have to do many presentations as part of my job and I will definitely be using this as a handbook. This book is written with a very generous spirit which comes through. ~ Mala Saye, IT Consultant, Amazon

We all have a story in us. ‘StoryWorks’ tells you how to get it out. This book explores why we tell stories and how they can help us relay information in a more interesting way. Written in a clear, accessible style for anyone who wants no-nonsense practical advice on how to tell stories. ~ Susie Lynes, Writing Coach

This book gives a really creative way to get the point across not only in business but in the home as well. I found the stories are equally enjoyable shared with kids. ~ Bet Ayer, Graphic Designer, Amazon

This book is well written, in an engaging style, making it accessible to all ages. It is useful, as the title says, for many walks of life, but I think it would be especially inspirational to the younger writer, providing the framework for solid story writing, and giving lots of ideas for structure and genre.I would unconditionally recommend this book. ~ J Branch, Amazon

'Show not tell' is exactly what Jane has done in her new book, StoryWorks. We are led through a series of enjoyable tales and exercises illustrating clearly and simply how we may learn to be more effective in our own communication skills, whether at work or play, with colleagues or friends, with boss or child. A practical guide for all those seeking to empower their speech or writing! ~ Vicky Peirson, Performer

Jane Bailey Bain
Jane Bailey Bain Jane Bailey Bain is an author, speaker and creative coach. She studied Psychology at Oxford University and Anthropology at the London School...
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