Corporate storytelling - The Differentiator


What we do

Unplugged storytelling runs workshops and story interventions that teach you and your team how to choose corporate stories, how to tell them and how to tell them well. Giving you, the storytelling differentiator.
We want to help you to use the power of stories.

Why we do it

Never before has the ancient art of storytelling been more studied and understood.
The global wave of storytelling from top entrepreneurs backed up by science tells us storytelling can help us close the deal. It has been found that corporations that tell their stories are more focused, committed and have greater communication skills.

How we do it

Aristotle the father of communication said that for true persuasion to take place three components are needed:
Ethos logos and pathos.
Ethos  - authenticity
Logos -  logic
Pathos -  heart.
In the corporate arena we often forget pathos.  Neuro science confirms that nothing engages the brain more and connects us to one another than storytelling.

Through our skilled story facilitators and our Unplugged storytelling method, we will guide you and your team in the art of storytelling.

What others have said about us

Old Mutual Finance – Monique Vosloo

We have always been using storytelling in our business, but the workshop with Unplugged help us to take this wonderful art to the next level.  It helped us to really connect and reunite as the leadership team around what it is what we stand for as a business and what it is that we want for our valued customers.  The outcome of the workshop was not only one of greater clarity and alignment, but also a vast improvement in our individual and collective ability to use the art of Storytelling as an essential leadership, culture building, presentation and training tool.

What we are offering

We have many different storytelling packages and interventions, and can mould our workshops to your needs. But some on offer include:

Corporate Culture workshop. Delegates are taught the art of storytelling, reveal their personal story and in doing so explore and define the current corporate culture that they are part of. Delegates leave with an understanding in how to tell a story, corporate or otherwise, a strong unified team and an understanding of what their role in the corporate culture is. Perfect for team building and creating a dynamic culture.

Telling the Corporate Narrative Learning what corporate narrative to tell and how to tell it.
This is divided into two parts:
Hunter gatherer
Gathering the stories that make up your corporate narrative. Here the Unplugged team work with exco, unpacking and writing which of the many corporate narratives best define who you are and what makes you great.
Lights camera action
The Unplugged team now teach the rest of the corporation, how to tell the chosen story.  Delegates are taken through an intense master class in storytelling. Rehearsing, refining and retelling the chosen narratives in a way that is conversational but yet compelling.
Delegates leave being able to tell one or more corporate narratives, that they are able to tell around the braai, at a conference in front of an audience, or to a client.

Story Events Story can be used at any event, big or small, to entertain, educate and stimulate an audience. This involves teaching the audience the ancient art of storytelling, showcasing your corporate story in the form of theatre but also working with the audience using story exercises to stimulate the audience to be part of the show. The audience will leave unified and inspired in your corporate narrative and also have played their part in creating it. An unforgettable event experience. Great for conferences too.

Using stories to Sell A workshop exploring how to use stories to sell. Delegates learn the essentials of storytelling. Learn how to tell an introductory personal story, a brand story and a deal breaker story. Role play your stories against fictional clients to make sure your story sells.

Social Cohesion This is a workshop designed to create cohesion between different employees. Never before has understanding our differences and realising our similarities been more important. Delegates are taken through an intensive story workshop that reveals ourselves to each other.

Who we are


s02Craig Higginson

Craig Higginson is an internationally acclaimed writer who lives in Johannesburg. His novels include: The Hill, Last Summer, The Landscape Painter and The Dream House. His plays have been  produced at the National Theatre (London), the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Trafalgar Studios (on London’s West End), the Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh), the Stadsteater (Stockholm), Salisbury Theatre, the Citizens Theatre (Glasgow), Live Theatre (Newcastle), Next Theatre (Chicago), Theatre 503 and the Finborough Theatre (both London), the Market Theatre (Johannesburg). His plays are published by Methuen and Oberon Books (London) and Wits Press (South Africa) and his novels by Picador Africa (Johannesburg) and Mercure de France (Paris). Craig has taught and run writer’s workshops, in London, Stratford, Paris and across South Africa. Craig’s awards include the Sony Gold Award for the Best Radio Drama in the UK, an Edinburgh Fringe First, the UJ Award for South African Literature in English and Naledi Awards for Best South African play and Best Children’s Play. He is currently adapting The Mission Song for John le Carre’s production company The Ink Factory and for Headlong in the UK – for production in 2017. Craig is currently a Research Fellow at Wits University and is completing a PHD in creative writing.

s03Dom Gumede

Dom was the head boy of Parktown Boys and a top school boy rugby player - Junior Craven Week hooker, however it was storytelling that captured his heart and in 2014 Dom received the Sophie Mngcina Naledi award for best emerging voice. He is a multi-disciplinary artist working as an actor, writer and director in both the artistic and corporate world, with a bit of rugby on the side. He was the Festival Director and Co-ordinator of the WALE (Wits Art and Literature Experience) Festival 2012, as well as the curator and Festival Director of ‘Sneak Peeks Festival: The Jozi G-Town Experience’ at PopArt. He has written for stage and television. Crepuscule, his most recent play produced at The Market Theatre is published by Junkets Publishers. He was part of a Royal Court Residency which resulted in the foundation of ‘Playriots’ which is a creative hub of South African playwrights. For television he has written for Isibaya produced by the Bomb Shelter and Ashes to Ashes Produced by Clive Morris Productions. He has performed at The Soweto Theatre and The Market Theatre. He is also passionate about social and community upliftment initiatives and community based theatre making. Working as a field worker for the Market Theatre for four years and engaging with the Ipelageng Community Centre.

s04Leila Henriques

Leila Henriques is a writer, director, actor and teacher. She has an MA with distinction in drama from Wits. She trained in acting at The Oxford School of Drama and spent a two year residency at The Tabard Theatre in London. On returning to South Africa she joined the innovative Loft Theatre Company in Durban. She has performed in over 30 productions in theatres across the land including The Playhouse, The State Theatre, The Baxter Theatre, The Alexander Theatre, The Alhambra, The Mandela Theatre and The Theatre on the Square. But it was at The Market Theatre that she did some of her most challenging and exciting work. Her most recent performance was in Sue Pam Grant’s play The Something Prince at The Market Theatre. She has performed for both film and television including. Leila has directed for theatre and for the corporate world. Productions include: Yerma, Road, Red Shoes, Midwinter all for Wits and The List at The Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, Hani at The Market Theatre Laboratory. Leila is also a passionate teacher having taught acting at Wits, AFDA and recently at The Market Theatre Lab. She, together with Irene Stephanou wrote the book “The World in an Orange – Exploring the work of Barney Simon” published by Jacana. This was short listed for the Alan Paton award.

s07Greg Homan

Greg has a BA Dramatic Art Degree from Wits and an MA in Text and Performance Studies with distinction from The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and King’s College London. He has directed many plays and won many awards but a recent highlight was winning ‘The 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre’. When not directing, Greg works as an academic and lecturer, and is a resident dramaturge at the SA State Theatre. He spent two years heading up the AFDA performance division and currently is the head of The Theatre and Performance School. Greg uses story to facilitate problem solving for sharing of stories can significantly contribute to building a better South Africa. In his passion for collecting stories, Greg has published three theatre books: At This Stage: Plays From Post- Apartheid South Africa (Wits Press 2009) New Territories: Theatre, Drama and Performance in Post Apartheid South Africa (PIE Peter Lang, Brussels 2015) and The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary South African Theatre (Methuen Drama London 2015).

s05Rick Melvill

A product of St Andrews College Grahamstown and Natal University Pietermaritzburg, Rick has enjoyed a vibrant career as creative entrepreneur in business. His has seen a career that has been underpinned by storytelling. He started out as an award winning conceptualiser and scriptwriter of corporate events. He then cofounded the award winning corporate film production house The Shooting Party in the mid 1980's before founding The Blue Moon Company in 1988. With Blue Moon having been built on a reputation for award winning B2B creative - and the introduction of Industrial Theatre to SA - Rick and Sue sold out to a Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed group in the late 90's. Along with Sue he then created his own upmarket (story driven) Safari brand Melvill & Moon in 2000. Rick and Sue founded Unplugged Communications in 2002 and formed Unplugged Storytelling as an independent entity in 2015. His private passions are the sport of polo and the renovation of a mysterious diamond magnate’s mansion called The Prynnsberg Estate in the Eastern Free State. But that is another story.

s06Sue Melvill

With an honours degree in Drama from Natal University Sue became a founder member of The Loft Theatre Company in Durban. She was then accepted into Ecole du Internationale de Theatre Jacques Le Coq, Paris. The Le Coq school specialises in the art of physical theatre and is the worlds most respected proponents of this art form. At Le Coq Sue saw the potential of a physical theatre based in storytelling to transcend language, culture, education and other social divides. While working on challenging communications projects at the Blue Moon Company Sue saw the potential of applying what she'd learned at Le Coq in the Industrial communications environment. She and Rick named the solution Industrial Theatre and an industry was born. Post the sale of Blue Moon Sue founded Melvill & Moon and then Unplugged with Rick. Sue acts in the role of Executive Producer and Managing Director at Unplugged and heads up the business aspects of Unplugged storytelling.

Clive-HawkinsClive Hawkins

Clive Hawkins has 40 years of experience working for various corporates in the FMCG industry ranging from manufacturing, importing and distribution, as well as logistics. Clive was also a partner in a Sales and Merchandizing business which represented many of the major brands in South Africa. Clive has operated in various roles ranging from General Management, Business Development as well as roles within Sales & Marketing . Clive’s passion has always been around people and people development. Clive has both national and International exposure through various learning institutions in this area of expertise.