Instructional design

Share, influence, motivate – Storytelling and eLearning


Profile Post Image

Share, influence, motivate - Storytelling and eLearning

“If stories are powerful, and if stories are going to be told – true and false, official and underground, flattering and humiliating- then leaders and managers need to be part of the process”  (Snowden).

Share: If your organization consists of more than 2 people, then stories are being told, and “yes” the stories might be about you. The key is to encourage these stories to be purposeful so that they can influence the listeners and be a mechanism to share intellectual and practical company assets. Storytelling can help share the systems and processes that you need to keep your company focused on “systematically achieving people-relevant outcomes    rather than merely the production of outputs  (Denning)

Influence: In  her book, ‘The Story Factor’,  Annette Simmons describes good story telling “like giving a mini-documentary of what you have seen so others can see it, too.” It is a way to peel back a person’s layers and appeal to their heart and soul. “Everyone, deep down, wants to be proud of their lives and feel like they are important- this is the vein of power and influence you can access through storytelling. “ (Simmons)

Motivate: Author of  ‘Tell to Win’,   Peter Guber  suggests we are all in the “emotional transportation business”. In his book he says “success is won by creating compelling stories that have the power to move partners, shareholder, customers and employees to action”.  He further explains how he uses stories to motivate. These are a few of his techniques:

  • Capture your audience’s attention first, fast and foremost
  • Motivate your listeners by demonstrating authenticity
  • Build your tell around “what’s in it for them”
  • Change passive listeners into active participants
  • Use “state-of-the-heart” technology online and offline to make sure audience commitment remains strong

Implement: Now let’s discuss how you can implement storytelling into your eLearning.  I will reference the Articulate Guru himself,  Tom Kulhmann. For those of you who don’t know Tom, he is best known as the author of   The Rapid E-Learning Blog, which provides practical, real-world tips for eLearning . For creating scenarios, Tom suggests using what he calls a “3C Model”, which consists of a “Challenge, Choices and  Consequences”.  He uses this model as the framework for his scenarios and uses branching to tie them together.  You can take this further and make your branching more complex  and then it becomes like a story. Complex branching can help you unfold and reveal the nuance differences in the decisions your learners are making and help get to the heart of the principle you are teaching.In   Articulate Storyline, there are multiple ways to accomplish branching but perhaps one of the easiest ways is to use assessment questions as triggers.  For example, you can use a multiple choice question and select the feedback to be by choice. Then based on the selection the learner chooses, they are branched to a specific slide to continue in their story adventure. Check out this tutorial for more on   assessments and quizzing  in Storyline. If you don’t have Storyline already, download a 30-day free trial here