Using Storytelling in Training

Story telling is an important skill that any professional trainer should master and be able to use effectively during training. The human mind is designed to accept, enjoy, seek, retain and make use of stories effectively. Stories are the natural way through which rich information is passed to the human mind.

Benefits

Stories may contain emotions which reinforce the learning process, boost retention and improve comprehension. Stories include time sequence which also help create a natural sequence between events. Stories are very rich in connections and relationships among various elements of the story which makes them a very powerful and effective learning tool. Stories are anti-boredom tools that can be used in the training room.

Reflection

One additional interesting thing about stories is that they can be a very rich source for reflection. Trainees can draw lessons from a story on their own and make discoveries. They can even keep discovering new lessons from a story long after they have listened to it.

More Benefits

Another reason that makes stories very powerful is their ability to convince trainees and influence them through touching their emotions and providing a logical sequence of events. Stories also evoke trainee imagination which creates a high degree of trainee engagement, enjoyment and retention.

Storytelling

Types of Stories

Fictional/Fable

One type of story is the fictional story or the fable. Although such story is not real yet it still enjoys the elements of engagement, enjoyment, time sequence, reflection and retention.

Real Life

An even more powerful story is a real story that has actually taken place in real life in the past and that the trainer might have heard or read about. If the trainer has learned about such a story firsthand by listening to it directly from someone who has experienced it this provides for an even stronger type of story. The trainer in such case should mention that he has heard it from a person who has experienced it himself.

Firsthand Experience

The most powerful type of story at all is one that the trainer has experienced by his own self and has learned from. This is the most powerful type of story and the most engaging and convincing.

Past Mistakes

One sub-type of such a story is when a trainer talks about his past mistakes which makes the personals story even more powerful and influential. Personal stories also help create an even stronger bond between the trainer and his trainees.

If there is no personal story covering the concept being explained the trainer can resort to stories he has heard or read about or to fictitious stories. Storytelling is a very powerful tool that every professional trainer should master and be able to use effectively during training.

What else makes stories so enjoyable and important?

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Trainers are Happy People

Delivering Training Makes you Happy

One of the interesting things a new trainer experiences after delivering a training session is a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Mental and psychological stability result from delivering a training session. A sense of serenity and internal happiness fills the trainer after delivering a training session. This could be contrasted with the high stress and anxiety a new trainer might be feeling before delivering the session. The new trainer at first might not be aware that such feelings of happiness and fulfillment are a normal part of delivering training. He or she might think that this session they had just been delivering in particular was unique in providing them with such awesome positive feelings. An experienced trainer however is well aware of the fact that despite the high energy needed for delivering a training session yet almost all sessions provide the trainer with a fulfilling sense of happiness after he or she delivers them even if he feels exhausted on the physical level.

When Things Go Wrong

Of course I am assuming here that the training session turned on well and that participants were happy about it. If on the other hand the trainer faced situations of difficult participants that he was unable to handle or handled with aggression in such cases this would probably leave a negative mark in the heart and mind of the trainer right after the training session and even for some time after it which could last for days or even weeks.

Speaking While Others Listen

One of the reasons behind a deep feeling of happiness and fulfillment a trainer usually feels after delivering a training session is that he speaks in a training session in front of an audience that are attentively listening to him or her. This act in itself is what provides the trainer with psychological satisfaction. The act of speaking in itself and exercising one’s mental powers is similar to going to the gym, you might feel physically exhausted after a long and difficult session at the gym but you will at the same time experience a deep sense of happiness and fulfillment.

Have you experienced this deep sense of serenity and fulfillment before after speaking in front of a live audience or explaining something to others? Tell us the story.