Our story

Helping you achieve great things using the power of story

About us

Start with Story is specialist communication skills training and coaching company with a simple mission: we want to help people communicate better in person, on stages, online – wherever! – by leveraging the power of story, narrative and metaphor. We’re small by design and aim to be approachable, open and honest.

Our clients hire us because of our experience and expertise, so we strive to give good advice and direct input – even if that’s not always what they want to hear. In order to become a compelling communicator or to create compelling communications, change may well be needed – and change is hard. But together, we can make that bit easier.

We’re headquartered in Innsbruck, Austria and we work throughout Europe and increasingly in South Africa.

You can learn more about what we do, meet the face behind the business, learn the story behind our logo, or simply get in touch.

Behind the business

Suzanne Whitby is the driving force behind Start with Story and her story starts with her love of great communication, building communities, and of course, stories.

Suzanne has spent 20 years travelling, living and working across the globe. She has a degree in English and Linguistics, a diploma in English language studies and her international career includes both corporate and consulting positions. For the last 13 years, she has run her own successful cross-cultural, communications and storytelling businesses in the UK, South Africa and Austria. In 2016, she blended her passion, experience and expertise to found Start with Story, a unique communication training skills firm based in Austria that teaches people to share compelling messages and communicate effectively by starting with story.

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Career

Suzanne’s corporate career started in the Information Technology sector as a programmer, but she soon moved into programme management, managing diverse, distributed teams and multi-million pound projects. Her programme management role expanded to manage team communication and presentation skills training, and by the time she left the corporate world in 2003 to start her own business, she was equipped with a set of practical communication and training skills that she set about applying in different contexts. She founded and ran a successful creative agency in London and Johannesburg for 13 years, specialising in branding, digital, design and marketing communications. Whilst living in the USA, she started a communications firm offering training in a range of communication skills and cross-cultural skills. Stories were at the heart of both communications firms.

On returning to Innsbruck in 2014, Suzanne started researching the power of stories and storytelling in communication and at the end of 2016, she started Start with Story to help academics, professionals, businesses, not-for-profits and even high school students understand and harness the power of stories whilst developing practical communication skills so that they could communicate more effectively.

Suzanne holds a BA in Humanities, a diploma in English Language studies and a plethora of other qualifications in technology, communications, sustainability and therapeutic subjects, all of which contribute to her approach and training style.

Personal

Suzanne is a South African and lives in beautiful Innsbruck with her wonderful Tirolean husband. She is an avid reader, writer, entertainer, traveller, storyteller and walker, with a passion for sustainability and building communities. She works extensively with the international community in Tirol, and is always coming up with new ideas and initiatives, some of which she actually starts!

If you’d like to have chat or discuss collaborating on a project, get in touch!

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