How to Increase the Impact of Training Using Storytelling

One of the most important tasks of a top trainer is to keep the delegates engaged

One of the most important tasks of a top trainer is to keep the delegates engaged

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed.

CEO AVPT Ltd

One of the most important tasks of a top trainer is to keep the delegates engaged. The more delegates are immersed in a training course, the more likely that they will learn. There have been many great ways to do this as listed below:

Game

A game is an exercise that normally has a set of rules and an element of competition. Games also normally include some element of reward or pay off. Although traditional games include competing against some one or another team, they are also many non-competitive games available.

 Icebreakers

Icebreakers are normally used as an exercise to introduce group members to one another, infuse some energy into the beginning of a workshop, and to lead into the topic material.

Energizer

An energizer is a brief pick-me-up designed to invigorate a group if energy in the room is waning, or to bring them back together following a break. Energizers may be a short version of any game or icebreaker, or a brief set of stretches. They are completed within approximately two to five minutes.

Simulations

A simulation is used to train future operators when the equipment that they will use is either very expensive or dangerous. Simulations are designed to be as realistic as possible so that participants can learn from the situation without worrying about damage or financial cost.

Brain teasers

Brain teasers are puzzles to keep participants busy or to highlight key points. Brain teasers have the flexibility for a creative trainer to create their own rules to fit a particular session. They can include perception exercises, joining the dots, or drawing activities.

Role Plays

Role-playing is a helpful way to gauge how participants are learning material or how they react to certain situations. They are very useful way to practice new skills in a non-threatening environment.

Case Studies

Case studies are stories normally extracted from a participant’s workplace or industry. It may also be a simulated scenario. They may be studied by individuals/groups and then analyzed to demonstrate particular training points or to stimulate discussion. A great way to do this is to tell powerful stories. Stories capture people’s imagination and help them to visualise a concept.  In this introduction brochure you will learn why storytelling matters and how to make great stories to enhance your training.

But do Stories Matter?

Consider a typical day. How many stories do you hear? Stories seem to be everywhere. TV is full of stories from soap operas to sitcoms to various drama series. Even news is primarily told as one story after another. Massive number of fiction and movies are consumed every single day.  Now, analyse yourself to see when you are most susceptible to persuasion.

You will see that it is when you have been told a really good story. The story can be about anything; but it is usually a story that sells you an idea or a product.

Consider famous public speakers. What is it about their speeches that make them stand out? It is always the story they tell us in their speeches and the way they deliver it that moves us. They make the story emotional, even somewhat personal. Their stories give us hope and promise us a better future. Their stories make us forget about the past or our everyday problems. Their stories give us energy and motivate us to follow up with an idea. There is always a protagonist that you can connect with emotionally.

You feel their pain and joy. While the story is told, you are curious to know how it ends. You cannot wait until it reaches its climax. You want to know what the protagonist decides when he is suddenly forced to make a choice. While you are fully engaged with the story, the real message is then given to you, directly or indirectly. You understand the message through the story and you feel that you have a first-hand experience of the issue.  The real power of stories is that they can be remembered very easily and be retold to others. This is in fact largely the main way that cultural memes pass through generations.

What Can Storytelling Do for Teaching?

When it comes to training, you have two critical aims; to teach a new skill and to increase the likelihood that this new skill is retained long after the course.  Stories can serve both needs. The story itself can be used to explain a particular concept or illustrate the benefits of following a particular attitude in a vivid way. It is also easier to remember the story which can reinforce the learning after the course. People can tell the story to others and thereby spread your training without your direct involvement.

The story can then spread by word of mouth and if it is good enough it may go viral. If it was your original story it can do wonders for your reputation as a trainer. Many people will want to know more about you and hear more stories. This is because people are addicted to good stories. We cannot get enough of it. If we discover that someone is a good storyteller and his stories work for us, we want to hear every story he has to say. We become somewhat addicted to his stories.  As a public performer who provides training courses and aspires to become more popular and better known, you cannot underestimate the power of storytelling.   read more by downloading our free booklet from here

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