So, have you ever heard of Ted-ed?
You must have, we are in the same educational industry through. If you have not, then please check out those “lessons worth sharing” on their trillion-viewed Youtube channel.
Ted-ed may not provide the most in-depth learning content. Their specialty is giving general knowledge that appears as both helpful and fascinating to the public audience. Anyone could be attracted to Ted-ed. The question is, how their success is so mind-blowing? I think a simple answer to this question consists of two elements:
- They approach the right topics.
- They know how to present those topics in an engaging way.
The engagement comes from the beautiful visual design of animations, and how they transform academic boredom into fascination with storytelling. The innovation lies in not only the content itself, but also how it is presented. They optimize the great storytelling in animated videos to present the ideas.
See? Instead of listing X ways to manage time effectively, they tell how to optimize time according to the machines. And apparently, learners would be more impressed in comparison to the ultimate list of time management.
That is one example of how storytelling transforms eLearning. And yes, if you don’t mind, it is also a long example of how I use storytelling myself to narrate you to my idea. I could just say “storytelling in eLearning is great and here are some advantages of this method in corporate training” with a desperate hope that you will not ditch this blog but continue reading!
Storytelling in corporate training
Sound interesting? However, you do not have to force yourself into scenario-based learning. Storytelling works in some concepts better than others. There is definitely no one solution to everything. It would be distracting to tell stories about how to use a technical software. In spite of such fact, this method could be utilized in a wide range of application in corporate training including:
- New hire training: A nice introduction about the company history, philosophy, and policies could be presented by an engaging story of how everything started.
- Product training: Tell a story about how the products were created and what the founders expect them to become. There you go. You now have a compelling story about the product features.
- Application training: A story of how one goes from zero to hero in efficiently use of some applications.
- Soft skills training: Probably the most compelling application of storytelling in corporate training. Soft skills present in every aspect of life from working productively to deepening the social circle in office. We can easily include inspiring stories based on an employee’s daily life, making them more relatable to our learners.
Nonetheless, elements of storytelling would still add values to circumstances where a formal story-led approach isn’t going to work for a piece of content. We can introduce a character to guide learners through the content or making the content more conversational to add the personal feel.
The advantages of storytelling method
1. Realistic content to improve the learning outcomes
Storytelling could bring the learning content to life as long as you keep the characters, plots, and dialogues convincing enough. If the story is relatable and built from daily-life concerns, learners would find it easier to apply the knowledge in their own work setting. Even if the plot is not so true to the employees, they can still feel themselves in the characters.
Hence there is no need to create too dramatic and fantasy scenarios. The far-from-reality ideas may seem entertaining (yes, Marvel would be hard to resist), but they are more likely to be distracting than engaging. In fact, one of the best approaches in storytelling is to demonstrate the real challenges faced by the target audience then give solutions to these issues.
Look at this example of Business Laws Training made by F.Learning Studio. We use a storytelling approach with the aids of animations to engage learners throughout the learning process. The story is much simple and relatable.
2. Relatable stories to trigger emotion and motivation
A good story often makes the audience feel related to the characters. We could tell a corporate story implying the learners as the main characters. The employees now can feel themselves as the protagonists of the stories. This technique creates a “you can do it” impression to the learners then motivates them to perform more.
Stories can also benefit corporate training as an emotional trigger. There is a supported theory that emotional events yield the most significant learning. The emotion needs not be dramatic and heartbroken, as you may think of emotional movies. Humour is a worthy element that could add great value to your training. If you want learners to recall the information while engaged in the course better, then consider adding humour.
3. Grab learner-attention with visual materials
Your training courses may need the support of visual materials for clearer idea explanation, or for better learner’s enjoyment. Storytelling could make the best aid to visual content like videos an animations.
Without any stories, the live-action or animated learning videos would lack depth and just play as visual explanation or narration to the course. In fact, this plain explanation approach could work in other training courses like science or engineering, where most of the learning concepts are terribly complicated. However, with corporate training, especially soft-skill training, we need more than an explainer video. Just add a character to narrate learners through the content, the videos would be much better.
Storytelling is one of the most amazing training methods that change corporate training into something more engaging and efficient than the dry academic details. We live until today with various stories in our heart. We learned histories and even morality lessons through stories. Our brains are designed to memorize stories then. Storytelling is never limited to kids fairy tales before sleep, we can use this method to bring great impact to the corporate training.