Sunday, 2 November 2014

8 ways to avoid boring storytelling trainings

Have you ever trained your staff on storytelling?

While conducting sessions on story writing I generally come across a familiar set of questions. Most of the participants say they have taken numerous training on story writing and storytelling. And with the ubiquitous presentations on storytelling in Slideshare and Authorstream, everybody thinks that s/he can craft wonderful stories at a mouse’s click. However, when they sit down to jot down a story, they can’t even move beyond few paragraphs. That’s pity!

Stand-alone storytelling training is not interesting at all. However, when all the components of storytelling including story writing, photography and videography are combined together, it makes the session interesting. And if you add the social media component to it – to disseminate the stories written by the participants – it makes the training engrossing. 

The practical and do-it-yourself sessions keep the participants engaged and interested. Besides, the desire to outshine among the peers motivates them to learn and perform better. 

Another crucial factor needed to make the training effective is making participants work in groups. And if you can arrange to make it residential, it allows more discussion, dialogue and exchange of ideas among the participants. This in turn, makes the training more productive.

Content is the king and will always be. Don’t feel awkward to curate the best content from the available resources in the Internet. Slideshare and Authorstream are two sites where you will find loads of presentation on storytelling. And of course you can always Google for more relevant resources. Here’s one of my earlier pieces on storytelling.

Tell the participants how they can get their stories to a wider audience. After writing stories if they don’t reach the target audience, it’s of no use at all. So, provide guidelines on how they can get their stories published, either in an organisational newsletter or in an external publication. Knowing that they can pitch their stories even to international publications, the participants will be more interested to write better stories.   

Everybody loves challenges. Once the sessions come to an end, collaborate with the participants to sketch personal story writing plans. Coming up with a concrete plan to write stories on a regular basis and getting them to the target audience will keep the flames burning. Even after the training. 

To get the maximum output, the sessions should be long enough to generate interaction. The one-sided teaching should be avoided. And for it, you will need to spread your training to three to five days. A day each on storytelling, photography, videography, practical sessions and dissemination through various channels seems the best spread out.

Another important aspect of an effective training is the resource person. The participants get inspired by resource persons who are known well in their fields. Circulating a schedule with short bios of the trainers few weeks ahead arouses interest among the probable participants. 

I am sure the above suggestions will help you to plan an interesting and effective storytelling session. If you come across some more interesting ideas, add to the list. 

No comments:

Post a Comment