Why should Storytelling be used in Corporate Training?
5th December 2020
Storytelling is a training and teaching tool that has been used for several years, but has been gaining more traction recently. As the name suggests, it refers to the act of imparting knowledge or teaching a particular topic within the frames of a story. Typically, stories are a good way to grab the learners’ attention, and thus, a corporate trainer training course tends to emphasise the essence of integrating storytelling in the training and development process. In this blog, we will be exploring some of the main benefits of using storytelling when hosting a training session.
- Engages the learners: While there are multiple methods for engaging the learners, stories in particular happen to tap into the learners’ curiosity. Every story has an event, characters, and a final purpose or ending that develops a sense of mystery. Inquisitive learners will be willing to find out what happens in the end of the story, and are also likely to create a connection with the characters and the plot. Thus, as the story progresses, they stay hooked and eagerly listen to every detail to find out what happens eventually. In this process, thorough learning occurs because the engaged learners not only pay attention, but also tend to make sense out of the topic and its different aspects. Interestingly, using body language movements and regulating the voice tone can further attract the learners’ attention.
- Enables knowledge retention: Engaged learners are inevitably likely to retain the knowledge they gather. More importantly, when the knowledge is transmitted through the means of an appealing story, the learners are more likely to sustain the content because every time the topic comes up, they will be able to relate back to the story. This is much better than having the learners memorise a set of text that they are likely to forget in a short time frame.
- Relatable: As commonly highlighted in a corporate trainer training course, if the trainer manages to compose and share a logical and relevant story that is in alignment with the learners’ professional lives and experiences, then the students will be able to relate with the story, and thus retain it in the longer run. For example, during a sales training, if the trainer shares one of his sales experiences with an organisation, then the other sales trainees will be able to relate with the trainers’ views, and thus pay more attention. It is worth noting that the stories must be relatable and not unrealistic and too fictional.
- Promotes better understanding: Imagine trying to explain a specifically complex concept using technical words and diagrams, or expressing it via a story or example using simple words and sentences. The learners will naturally understand the latter more easily because the story appears both engaging, realistic, and simple. However, in order to be able to properly explain a topic using stories, the story must be carefully structured. If not, then the learners will end up getting more confused.
- Using visuals: The benefits gleaned from storytelling can be furthered if visuals are used as the story unfolds. This will escalate learning to a different level because the learners will be able to essentially ‘see’ a relevant story, and subsequently almost never forget the knowledge conveyed through the story.
Storytelling has been commonly used for teaching young learners as it appears to be a useful way to engage the learners. In fact, storytelling is also often used an activity, wherein the learners have to compose their own stories. This paves the way for creative thinking, and builds upon one’s communication skills. Nevertheless, the extent to which storytelling can be used in corporate training tends to be different because corporate training generally focusses on the transfer of a fixed set of knowledge, skills, and abilities that is relevant to the company’s objectives, and helps maximise profits. That said, corporate trainers must still use storytelling, but ensure that it conforms with the training topic, the learners’ characteristics, the learning goals, and finally, the company’s objectives.
Written By : Shivangi Chakraborty