Frequently Asked Questions

for 1-on-1 coaching

+ I don't live in Philadelphia. Can I still work with you as a coaching client?

Yes. We offer all clients the option to meet in-person and over Zoom video call. You can even do a combination of both.

+ Do you offer scholarships?

Tell Me A Story offers scholarships for early stage entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders who demonstrate financial need. We offer one scholarship slot per quarter for a three month (six session) engagement of 1-on-1 Coaching. We also offer one slot for each session of Crafting Your Personal Narrative.

A TMAS Scholarship reduces your total investment by 50%. We review our scholarship applications on a rolling basis. We are looking to learn more about you, where you are in your career, and what your goals are for personal and professional growth. We do not want to pry into the nitty gritty of your financial situation, but we appreciate your candid responses to all of the questions. Interested in applying? Email us.

+ I am going on vacation and don't know if I can squeeze in two sessions that month. Is there flexibility in scheduling my 1-on-1 coaching sessions?

Yes. Once you are onboarded as a client, you will have access to a 1-on-1 coaching calender and can schedule your sessions in a slot that is a convenient for you. If you end up doing one session in May, you can carry over your second session to June and have three that month. Clients who have signed up for three months of coaching get six sessions. Those who signed up for six months get twelve sessions and the 12 month clients get 24 sessions.

+ What do I need to bring with me?

Whether we are meeting in person or over Zoom, you only need to bring yourself! If we are meeting over Zoom you will receive a package in the mail with supplies prior to our first session and we will make sure to email you any worksheets in advance of each session. When meeting in-person we will have all of your supplies and worksheets for you. A lot of our exercises involve writing things out by hand. If this is an issue for your wrists, feel free to bring a tablet or laptop.

+ Can I record my 1-on-1 sessions?

Absolutely. If meeting in-person you can record using your smart phone. If that's not an option, let Hillary know and she can record for you. If meeting over Zoom, we will always give you the option of recording at the beginning of our session and we will send the session over a private Vimeo link afterwards.

+ I give a lot of Powerpoint presentations at work and I find it excruciating. How will these one-on-one sessions help me improve my presentation skills?

There is a lot of work that goes into making an engaging and effective presentation. At its core, it's not about the visuals or the dry data, it's about you and how you connect to the information you are presenting. We'll help you find the narrative that delivers your data and explore ways you can personalize the presentation and share bits and pieces of who you are to get your audience to pay attention and connect. This starts with a foundation in storytelling. We can help you build it and then strategize the ways to weave together your story with the other elements of your presentation.

+ I am giving a TEDxTalk in a few months. Do you coach TED Speakers?

Absolutely. We are schooled in the TEDTalk format and are passionate about helping speakers bring this speaking style to new heights. As much as we are grateful for the popularity of TED Talks and their mission to spread ideas in a new and engaging way, we think the format is starting to feel a bit dusty. There are talks where the person is pacing back and forth across the stage and inserting inflections into their voice that look and sound great, but when you dig deep, there isn't much behind those moves. We'll work with you to build your talk from a foundation of storytelling and help you unveil your authentic public speaking style. We'll help you stay true to the TED Talk guidelines while taking the leaps that help you break the mold.

+ Every time I think about public speaking, I get sick to my stomach. How do your sessions help to get past the fear and anxiety of getting up in front of people?

The first step in overcoming this terrible feeling is to acknowledge that you don't want to feel this way any more. The second step is working on the skillset with someone who can tend to your specific public speaking concerns and help you to reconnect with the voice buried underneath the fear. You will be working with TMAS founder Hillary who developed crippling stage fright while in school for vocal performance. She has spent the last 10 years developing a method that helps address the source of the stage fright and guides you through a transformative process to overcome the fear and find the joy in speaking your truth in front of strangers. She also curates a public speaking newsletter that might help you on your journey. You can peruse the archives here.

+ I want a foundation in storytelling and a set of stories to keep in my back pocket for every day communication. Are these one-on-one sessions for me?

Absolutely. You don't need to have an immediate deadline to begin this type of work. Actually, the sooner you can weave personal narrative with your everyday communication, the better you will feel. Plus, with storytelling, you'll build trust and connections on a much deeper level than jumping to the default of talking about the weather or reality TV.

+ I want to refresh my personal and professional brand. How can working with you one-on-one help with my transformation?

We can help you work on an Origin Story that connects the dots between where you came from to where you are heading. We'll give you the preparation process for using this story in your public speaking as well as ways to use it online and in business.

+ What is the difference between your approach and working with an Executive Coach or a Life Coach? Do I need both?

We are true advocates when it comes to continuing education and personal and professional growth. If you want to work with more than one coach, then go for it. Personal and professional growth is a bonus side effect to the TMAS approach to storytelling and public speaking. But we aren't here to give you business or life advice. We are here to help you with the communication tools necessary to navigate your business, your role as a leader, and make deeper personal connections with others. There is some crossover with executive presence and storytelling and we can help with the breath and voice work as well as the content that will truly make a difference in the way you communicate, motivate, and build trust. We are inspired by authentic leadership and those who are unapologetic in how they communicate who they are, like Emily Weiss and Jenna Weiss-Berman. (And we did not realize they shared a last name until writing this answer.)

+ I think my company pays for coaching and other professional development opportunities. How do I get them to pay for this?

Yes. Companies often allocate a fairly hefty sum of money per employee for professional development opportunities like workshops, conferences and coaching. We can provide your employer with all of the documentation needed for reimbursement. Just let us know what you need.

+ Can I continue coaching sessions beyond 3 months?

Yes! We also offer 6 or 12 month engagements, which are often helpful for those who do a lot of public speaking or have a professional development requirement at work.

+ I am ready to sign up. What do I do?

That is great to hear! Submit an application to work with us. We’ll follow up with you over email and send you the full coaching welcome packet -- including all payment, scheduling, and onboarding materials.