Using Stories to Train Mastering storytelling for effective learning

For just a moment here, think back to your childhood.

There's likely one book, film, or personal narrative that impacted you — altering your path or changing your trajectory.

Stories have been used since the beginning of time to educate, enlighten, and entertain.

Stories connect with emotions.

Stories provide context.

Stories allow for application.

Stories entertain.

Learning objectives must be identified prior to stories.

Storytelling is best utilized to meet learning objectives in the Evaluate, Analyze, and Apply levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.

Where do we find STORIES for training?

ASK MANAGERS AND ASSOCIATES.

ENGAGE SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS.

INTERVIEW OR RESEARCH INDUSTRY LEADERS.

REVIEW CUSTOMER RAVES AND COMPLAINTS

CONSIDER ORGANIZATIONAL PROBLEMS AND HOW THEY UNFOLD.

MAKE UP YOUR OWN!

Stories don’t need to be real-life scenarios to be effective. Craft your own story based on your unique learning objectives.

In the handout packet, please get out the Story Possibilities Brainstorming sheet.

Take a moment and write down a few training goals and learning objectives. We will share a few and workshop them together.

How do we write good stories?

Productive interviews begin with good questions.

  • Prepare 20 questions before each interview.
  • Avoid closed-ended questions (prompting a “yes” or “no” response).
  • Ask if the subject recalls any specific dialogue.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for more details.
  • Be prepared with follow-up questions.
  • Before concluding, ask the interview subject what they learned and why it was important for the organization or their role.

ELEMENTS OF A STORY

SCENE or SCENARIO.

CHARACTERS.

PROBLEM or CHALLENGE.

RESOLUTION or REVELATION.

INCORPORATING STORIES INTO TRAINING

TIPS FOR e-LEARNING STORYTELLING ON A BUDGET

Tip 1 : Present the information creatively.

Brainstorm ways to present the story in a creative format, including social media threads, letters, email exchanges, diary entries, comic strip, or just write out the story using dialogue or text boxes.

Tip 2 : Use your team's talents.

You may have colleagues with hidden talents, so ask around. Perhaps someone on your team writes comic books as a hobby or is a YouTube enthusiast.

Tip 3 : Know your tools.

There are numerous free or reduced-cost tools to help you create interactive e-learning presentations. You can build branching scenarios in YouTube, use GoAnimate for inexpensive animation, and Adobe Spark for other types of simple video presentations.

Tip 4 : Learn how to source free or reduced cost visuals.

Use Google Advanced Search to find visual elements that are labelled for commercial use, with or without adjustment.

Three Ways to Use Storytelling

The story as the lesson.

Stories infused into the lesson.

Story as the assessment.

Most trainers opt for infusing stories into a lesson, but I want to encourage you to try — at least once in your training career — to try making the story the entire lesson.

IN-PERSON TRAINING SESSIONS

Storytelling Presentation Ideas

  • Use multi-media presentations similar to the e-learning style to engage the audience, including videos, animation, sample email exchanges, etc.
  • Engage a speaker to tell a personal story.
  • Tell a story or stories in first person.
  • Engage the audience to act out scene.
  • Create a “Choose Your Own” Adventure Presentation Style.
  • Use a branching scenario format, letting audience votes guide the lesson.

DO IT RIGHT!

  1. Use relevant character, context, scenes, and details to engage your learners.
  2. Engage a traditional storytelling format: Set the scene, introduce your characters, explain the problem, and explore the resolution.
  3. Embrace storytelling as your method.

WORKSHOP

Have you ever used storytelling in training?

Let’s share some and talk about what worked and what didn't.

Storytelling in Assessment

Presenting knowledge and using stories to assess the learner is probably the easiest and most budget-friendly way to incorporate storytelling into training. You can present a story in written, visual, or any other format before asking the learner to answer questions based on the scenario.

Tips for Writing Story-Based Assessments

  • Use real-world scenarios, pulled from customer reviews, previous organizational problems, or manager’s examples.
  • Use details to provide context.
  • Make it challenging.

Betsy Lee

betsy@cardboardboxdesigns.com

816.694.3274

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