In this edition of Chris’ Tips for Trainers, we are going to discuss the power of storytelling.
Stories, yours and and the stories of others, will bring customer service concepts to life! When you fill your training with touching, relevant stories of everyday customer service experiences, you connect with your participant’s ability to “feel” and once you get them to feel (positive or negatively), empathize and connect, the likelihood that they remember and are able to apply the learning in real life goes up exponentially!
Here are your tips!
Tip #1 Start a story collection. Having a variety of stories to choose from helps you to connect to the different types of participants in your training sessions. Connecting to what they know, what they have experienced, will bring your session to life. That’s the power of storytelling.
Tip #2 You aren’t the only one with a story. Ask your participants for their own stories. Give them time to think about their experience and then ask for volunteers. Adults have a lot of familiarity in the customer service realm and like to share their personal experiences. This helps keep them engaged and provide motivation to connect with the content and put it to work.
Tip #3 I’ll say it again… Practice, practice, practice! Practice your stories by yourself, with friends, family and other trainers… Out loud (what sounds good in your head might not make sense once it leaves your mouth:)
Here are some guidelines for tapping into the power of Storytelling
• Select appropriate stories for your audience.
• Make sure that your story isn’t offensive or doesn’t make fun of (people, culture & beliefs).
• Your stories need to make sense and be relevant to the course content.
• Keep it short and to the point. Good stories, too long lose their power to engage.
• Involve your participants in the storytelling.
• Good stories have a beginning, middle, some sort of conflict and an end and resolution to the conflict.
• Make sure your story teaches and doesn’t “preach”. Adult learners will quickly lose interest when they feel they are being preached to instead of involved.
Now, go break a leg!!
Chris Perillo is the Countess of Curriculum (Director of Training) for Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc. She has many years of experience in learning & development, and has a track record for transformative change. When she’s not traveling the country delivering Red Carpet training, she and her husband travel the world for fun! She can be reached at Chris@RedCarpetLearning.com.