Susan Marie taught her first Storytelling Workshop in 1991 as a guest instructor for a Storytelling Class at Colorado State University. She had so much fun that after the class she said to the instructor, "I don't ever want to hone in on your territory, but if you ever decide you don't want to teach this class anymore, let me know and I will." The instructor responded, "Why don't you teach a Masters Class? I'll take it." So she did. Ever since Susan Marie has been leading workshops and classes for individuals, with organizations, and in business settings.

Though I know good storytelling when I see it, I'd never thought about the nuances and subtle details that go into making a story appealing. Thanks for the revelation. — Robert Rassmussen, Colorado Department of Transportation

Telling Your Story

Humor Workshop - Ohio Chautauqua
—  Humor Workshop - Ohio Chautauqua 2019  —

Hone a story so you can present it for all that it's worth. Susan Marie's storytelling workshops provide a nurturing setting to explore the spoken word and all it can convey. Learn ten principles that you can apply to any story you wish to learn. Practice imagining with all your senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste; physical movement and pantomime; drawing on genuine emotions; and using all the tools in your vocal tool kit. From individual workshops to five- week class series, topics can include: Developing a personal or family story, folk and fairy tales, humor, character development, supporting the curriculum, and improvisation. For a list of past classes and workshops see Classes and Workshops for Adults in the Curriculum Vitae.

Susan's class was so informative and such fun that I actually forgot my fear of speaking in front of strangers. I am now able to include animation and intonation while presenting in public. — Vicki Anderson, The Story Gleaner

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Storytelling in Business and Professional Settings

In ages past leaders told fables and parables to convey a message.  They knew their point would be retained, because the stories would be remembered and passed along. When you give a presentation, does your audience savor the experience? Do they recount the point you were making? Do they buy your ideas? Furthermore, do you enjoy the opportunity to speak to a group? You can have fun while conveying your message. Hone your speaking skills in these two popular workshops.

Storysmith® Basics

Strengthen your presence in front of an audience. Add flair to customer presentations, technical talks, and management addresses.

This was a class I hoped wouldn't end. As you challenged us more and more, the bar of performance got higher and higher. Everyone was soooooo good! You taught us to learn from each other's abilities, yet we each developed our own creative flair. — Adam Asnes, Research Systems Inc.

The One-Minute Story

Sometimes you have only a minute to make your point - in either a prepared speech or an impromptu statement. Analogies and metaphors presented in the form of a story leave a lasting impression.

These workshops are experiential and challenging. Susan guides you to discover proven techniques through thought-provoking exercises, drawing on a fourteen year career in management and engineering. She has performed and taught speaking skills since 1990.

I definitely profited from Susan Frontczak’s ’Storysmith’ tutelage. The techniques I learned help me in crafting a "story" for the jury, with a theme and high points. I've had numerous lawsuits and hearings at which my newfound ability to think and speak on my feet has been invaluable. Her classes taught me that I don't always have to have notes: I can relax, trust my instincts, and deeply focus on getting my story across to my audience. I feel that as a result I've become a much better, more genuine, trial lawyer and manager. — Rolf Asphaug, Deputy General Counsel, Regional Transportation District

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Living History Coaching and Classes

Young Chautauqua Collage
—  Youth that Susan Marie has coached portraying: Stephen Hawking, Mary Cassatt, President Harry Truman, Madame Lavoisier, Buddy Holly, Julius Caesar, Empress Alexandra Romanov, and Cloelia  —

Susan Marie assists both youth and adults to develop their own Living History programs. She has coached several thousand youth across the state through Colorado Humanities' Young Chautauqua program since 2004, and has conducted adult Living History classes since 2008. A number of her adult clients have gone on to present nationally themselves.

You keep us from settling for good; you get us going for great. — Kathy Applebee, Grand Valley History Players (developing Zelda Fitzgerald)

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Workshops for Children

school workshop

Susan Marie has led hundreds of workshops 1991 through present with students grades 1 through 12 in Storytelling, Drama, Oral Interpretation, Improvisation, Story Structure, Living History, and Creative Writing.  

I was very impressed by Susan’s ability to inspire my daughter to do the hard and repetitive work of developing and refining a performance. But I most appreciate that Susan did not simply teach my daughter to take direction, but insisted that she make her own artistic decisions and work things out for herself. — David Haimson, parent
School Workshop Sterling CO
You were really fun to work with because you always made someone feel like their story was the best. I know for sure that you made me feel like my story was the best. You made me and a lot of other people improve 200%. After you came it really seemed like thy were profecinals [sic] at story telling. — Casey, fifth grader, Flatirons Elementary School

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We were simply spellbound by the virtuosity of her voice and gesture, intellectual challenge and emotional involvement
Dr. Brad Bowles, Chair
Department of Theater, University of Colorado
You have touched the child in each of us, as well as impressed this audience of communications professionals with your mastery of language
Lynn Paustian, Colorado Program Director
International Association of Business Communicators
Your expertise as a storyteller has earned rave reviews from our executive-level customers... I look forward to your next performance
Kathleen A. Kilcoyne
Hewlett-Packard Company