8 Storytelling Elements To Integrate In Online Training

8 Storytelling Elements To Integrate In Online Training
Summary: Stories captivate your audience and create emotional connection. They tie the online training topics into real-world applications, thereby increasing employee motivation and engagement. In this article, I'll highlight the 8 essential storytelling elements eLearning professionals should include in online training.

How To Integrate 8 Storytelling Elements In Online Training

Storytelling is an age-old tradition. Since the beginning of time, people have been weaving tales to pass onto the next generation. Stories are the first form of entertainment, while they also possess undeniable educational value. In fact, you can even integrate storytelling in online training to make your compliance online training fun and engaging. Here are the 8 crucial elements that you need for successful storytelling in online training.

1. Relatable eLearning Characters

Memorable eLearning characters are a key ingredient for successful storytelling in online training. eLearning characters must resonate with your corporate learners, who should be able to relate to the eLearning character's personality or plight in order to form a meaningful connection. This allows them to step inside the shoes of the protagonist and immerse themselves in the situation. One of the most effective ways to create relatable eLearning characters is to research your audience. Delve into their backgrounds to find commonalities that you can use in your eLearning character development.

2. Realistic Challenges And Situations

Fairy tales and epic adventures may be ideal weekend reads, but employees need online training stories that emphasize real-world applications. In other words, realistic challenges and situations that they face on a regular basis. These online training stories should convey information to help them solve problems and achieve their goals. You can conduct skills assessments and surveys to identify these challenges, as well as task evaluations and on-the-job observations. Doing so, allows you to focus on performance or skill gaps that employees have in common.

3. Emotional Connectivity

Do corporate learners sympathize with the eLearning characters? Emotional connectivity is essential for storytelling in online training. Employees must be able to see things from the eLearning character's perspective, and experience the same emotions. This makes the eLearning story more relatable, which entertains, inspires, and motivates your audience. However, it's important to identify which emotions you are trying convey in order to achieve the desired outcome. For instance, you don't want to evoke feelings of stress or anxiety if your employees need a cool head to handle challenging situations.

4. Strong Structure (Story Arc)

Every eLearning story starts with an introduction that serves as an eLearning character "meet and greet." Employees have the chance to get to know the eLearning character's personality traits and driving forces. This is followed by the problem or challenge the eLearning character must overcome. Last, but not least, the problem is successfully resolved and the eLearning character learns something from the online training experience. Storytelling starts with an effective eLearning story arc that hits on all the key points. You should also provide employees with tips, tricks, and resources they need to solve the same problems in their own lives.

5. Learning Objectives And Goals To Serve As A Guide

Learning objectives, goals, and desired outcomes dictate every aspect of your storytelling. This is due to the fact that the eLearning story is designed to promote certain behaviors or responses. For example, to encourage employees to adhere to compliance by wearing the proper safety gear. It's best to clearly identify your learning objectives, then use them to create a detailed eLearning storyboard. The eLearning storyboard maps out every aspect of your eLearning story, from eLearning characters and scenes to dialogue points.

6. Clear And Cohesive Narrative Voice

Decide the overall tone before you begin the eLearning story so that you remain consistent. For example, you want to create a personal connection while still remaining professional. Thus, your storytelling must walk the fine line between a business and conversational tone. You must also pay attention to the pacing. Do you want to draw out the conflict or challenge to build tension? Or do you want to spend more time focusing on the eLearning character development and introductions?

7. Multimedia Integration

Incorporate sound effects, background music, images, and other media into your eLearning story. This helps enhance employee immersion and interactivity, thus increasing engagement. Media-rich storytelling in online training also improves comprehension. For example, audio learners may need a voice-over to truly absorb and assimilate the information. Just make sure that the visuals and audio don't overshadow the eLearning characters and their real-world struggles. Here are just a few media elements that you may want to include:

  • Photographs that help employees connect with the main eLearning character. For example, pictures of a menacing-looking businessman to represent the disgruntled co-worker. You can also use images from the workplace to make it even more personal.
  • Music that evokes the perfect blend of emotion or several different tracks to break up the scenes. For instance, an upbeat tune to signify the resolution of the conflict. Sound effects are also a great addition, as long as they blend into the background and don't distract your corporate learners.
  • Colorful, bold headers that break up the eLearning story into easily digestible parts. You can also incorporate borders and other graphics to spruce up the visual design.

8. Follow-Up eLearning Feedback From Employees

Storytelling in online training relies heavily on learner immersion. But are your employees able to see things from the main eLearning character's perspective? Can they relate to the challenge or obstacle? Does the eLearning story evoke an emotional response? These are all questions to address through employee eLearning feedback. Encourage employees to take polls or questionnaires after the fact to express their honest opinions, or conduct focus groups to discuss their overall experience. Then use your findings to improve your narrative voice, story structure, or eLearning character development.

Storytelling in online training turns bland compliance online training into exciting online training experiences. You also create an emotional connection with your employees, which increases their motivation and engagement. The secret to successful storytelling in online training is getting continual feedback from your employees and researching their backgrounds before.

Want  to learn more tips on how to successfully integrate storytelling in your online training course? Read the article Storytelling In eLearning: 7 Tips And Tricks For eLearning Professionals to identify the top tips and tricks to include storytelling and craft provoking tales for your online training content.