How to Tell a Story with Your Learning
If one of your goals heading into 2015 is to make your corporate eLearning more exciting, fresh and engaging, consider weaving content into a story form.
Storytelling in eLearning elevates the content from mundane to attention-capturing. This helps you more effectively train and develop employees.
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With that being said, most of us aren’t natural-born storytellers, so below are some tips that can help you effectively turn content into a story and gain the maximum ROI for your eLearning.
- Think back to those English classes you took in high school or college – every story tends to have a problem, then the story develops based around the problem and finally there’s a climax where a solution is developed. Your eLearning needs to contain these three elements as well. These should be the things that guide you through the storytelling process— identify a problem, which is the area where you are training employees, develop it by offering examples of actions that can be taken and their potential consequences, and finally introduce a climax to the story, which is where the employee learns the ultimate takeaway.
- Think about your audience when creating a story, and ensure they’re going to be able to relate to not only the story, but also the characters. The more you know about your audience, the more you’re going to be able to hone in on certain aspects of their personalities and their jobs that are going to help you target more effective training stories.
- Don’t become so involved with creating the plot that you forget what message you’re trying to convey to learners. Storytelling is a great way to get learners excited and interested, but at the end of it all, the goal is to provide some type of training or development, so ensure the plot always remains focused on this goal.
- Content still needs to be short and concise. While telling a story can seem like a fun and enticing way to deliver corporate training, there’s no need to stray from the overarching rule of learning – keep it short, sweet and to the point. If you let yourself get carried away in trying to tell a complex story, your learner is going to lose sight of why they’re being presented with the information. Streamline your storytelling to focus only on the most important lesson you want them to take away from the experience.
- Consider investing in professional narration. Narration plays a big role in how learners perceive a story and it can often be worth the investment to go for a professional who’s going to be able to infuse the story with some personality, without having it become overwhelming or overshadowing the key lessons.
- Storytelling can be interactive. Think back to the choose-your-own ending books of your childhood—they were exciting and fun because you got to decide what path the story was going to take. You can create eLearning in that same way. Let your learner choose his or her own outcome while progressing through the story, and that person will remain more actively engaged in what’s happening. It’s more complex to create this type of learning, but the results can provide a pay-off that makes it worth it.
- Think about some of your favorite movies and what makes you love them. Is it the excitement, the relatability of the characters? Whatever it is, try to pepper your eLearning with some of these components. While you may not be creating a blockbuster, many of the premises are the same.
Have you used storytelling your eLearning up to this point? If so, do you find it’s more effective than standard eLearning?