Story telling as a tool for trainers - Imagery at its best Once upon a time…………."Yeah right, don't tell us a story, we are not kids".
"If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive." - Barry Lopez
Story telling is an art and like many arts it can be learnt. As adults, we think stories are for kids. Despite being so-called matured-sophisticated adult, we ourselves get sucked into soap operas, become fans of Peter Jackson and likes, who have basically used audio-visual media to tell stories. As a matter of fact, some of stories we watch on screens are purely fictional. And yes, we pay for it only to make storyteller richer forever for a momentary entertainment.
Story telling as an excellent resource for trainers Story telling can be an excellent way of starting a workshop or can be used as a summary towards end as a review. Personally as a participant in many sessions, I have found stories used at end of session made a deep impact. In fact, as a participant. I still remember my colleagues Customer service training some 3 years ago, where he ended his session with story* of man who made difference by saving star fish on beach. He finished it with a punch line 'Let's make difference'. Well I still remember it. I have also observed that many NLP master trainers use stories as useful resource to make a point.
Story when properly narrated can enhance learning and it can be narrated in many ways that suit all learning styles. Story telling need not be a mere auditory presentation; it can be narrated in many ways using various educational media like:
"PowerPoint presentation with animation and sound"Story telling with some dramatization "Puppet show"Flash shows "Cartoons on flipcharts"OHP slides with visuals "Role-plays / skids" "Stories can also be chunked as Case studies (Case studies are effectively used as a teaching method in many management schools like Harvard Business school)
Stories as Case studies Stories can also be used as an excellent case study to achieve learning outcomes. The following is a simple story presented as a case study to participants. This story, like many, has a moral.
Situation: One day a sculptor came to The King's court with three idols. The idols were perfectly identical in appearance but there was something different in their internal make-up.
Challenge: The sculptor presented idols to Emperor and said, "Grand Sire, these idols look alike, but only one of them is worth looking and to be treasured. Please allow me to challenge thy wise men of court to pick best idol and tell me reason for his choice."
Analysis: In King's court there was this wise Wizard. He was summoned to take on task. One by one, Wizard got hold of idols and observed them very closely. He noticed that there were minute holes in ears and mouths of idols.