Story Telling As A Tool For Trainers by toriola1


									                                               Presented by Daniel Toriola

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                                               Story Telling As A Tool For Trainers
                                                         By Ram Lingam

  Story Telling As A Tool For Trainers
 by: Ram Lingam

Story telling as a tool for trainers - Imagery at its best


Once upon a time…………."Yeah right, don't tell us a story, we are not kids".


"If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes
a person needs a story more than food to stay alive." - Barry Lopez


Story telling is an art and like many arts it can be learnt. As adults, we think stories are for kids. Despite
being the so-called matured-sophisticated adult, we ourselves get sucked into soap operas, become
fans of Peter Jackson and the likes, who have basically used audio-visual media to tell stories. As a
matter of fact, some of the stories we watch on the screens are purely fictional. And yes, we pay for it
only to make the storyteller richer forever for a momentary entertainment.

Story telling as an excellent resource for trainers:

Story telling can be an excellent way of starting a workshop or can be used as a summary towards the
end as a review. Personally as a participant in many sessions, I have found the stories used at the end
of the session made a deep impact. In fact, as a participant. I still remember my colleague trainer's
Customer service training some 3 years ago, where he ended his session with the story* of the man
who made the difference by saving the star fish on the beach. He finished it with a punch line 'Let's
make the difference'. Well I still remember it. I have also observed that many NLP master trainers use
stories as useful resource to make a point.

One Dolphin's Story
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Story when properly narrated can enhance learning and it can be narrated in many ways that suit all
learning styles. Story telling need not be a mere auditory presentation; it can be narrated in many ways
using various educational media like: PowerPoint presentation with animation and sound Story
telling with some dramatization Puppet show Flash shows Cartoons on flipcharts OHP slides with
visuals Role-plays / skids" Stories can also be chunked as Case studies (Case studies are
effectively used as a teaching method in many management schools like the Harvard Business

Stories as Case studies:

Stories can also be used as an excellent case study to achieve learning outcomes. The following is a
simple story presented as a case study to participants. This story, like many, has a moral.


One day a sculptor came to The King's court with three idols. The idols were perfectly identical in
appearance but there was something different in their internal make-up.


The sculptor presented the idols to the Emperor and said, "Grand Sire, these idols look alike, but only
one of them is worth looking and to be treasured. Please allow me to challenge thy wise men of the
court to pick the best idol and tell me the reason for his choice."


In the King's court there was this wise Wizard. He was summoned to take on the task. One by one, the
Wizard got hold of the idols and observed them very closely. He noticed that there were minute holes
in the ears and mouths of the idols.


The Wizard asked for a long and thin wire. He took the first idol and inserted the copper wire into its
ear. The copper wire came out of the idol's mouth. He picked up the second idol and inserted the
copper wire into its ear. The copper wire came out of the other ear. Finally, The Wizard took the third
idol in his hands. He inserted the copper wire into its ear. The copper wire went right into the stomach
of the idol.


Pointing to the third idol, the Wizard said to the sculptor, "This is the best of the three idols."


The sculptor said, "Please give a reason for your choice?"

The case study ends here. You can pause here and ask why the Wizard chose the third idol.


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The Wizard then gave his explanation, "Let us assume that each idol signifies a minister of a king and
that the copper wire symbolizes a secret of the kingdom. In the case of the first idol, the copper wire
inserted into the ear came out of the mouth. Such a minister will hear a secret and divulge."

"The copper wire inserted into the ear of the second idol, came out of the other ear. Such a minister
does not pay attention to any important or secret matter. Whatever he hears with one ear goes out of
the other ear. He is not a good minister."

"Lastly in the case of the third idol, the copper wire inserted into the ear, went right into the stomach.
This is a minister who hears a secret but never reveals it to anyone. He can keep a secret. He is the
ideal minister and therefore this idol is the best of the three.

The sculptor was truly amazed and impressed with The Wizard's explanation.

Debrief moral: When what is heard is internalised, real listening happens. True learning happens
when it is internalised.

By Ram Lingam.

This article is based on the author's many experiences as a learner and trainer.

* "While walking along a beach, a man saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something
up and throwing it in the ocean. As he came closer, he saw thousands of starfish the tide had thrown
onto the beach. Unable to return to the water, the starfish were dying. He observed this man picking up
the starfish, one by one, and throwing them back in the water.

Now, after watching this seemingly futile effort, the observer said, 'There are thousands of starfish on
this beach. It would be impossible for you to get to all of them. There are too many of them. You can't
possibly save enough to make a difference.' The young man smiled as he continued to pick up another
starfish and threw it back into the ocean. 'It made a difference to that starfish,' he replied." - Author

Ram Lingam is an Auckland based corporate trainer and freelance writer who focuses on corporate
training - its planning, design, delivery & assessment. He also advises on publishing and document
design for small businesses. You can freely reprint his weekly articles in your website, ezine, or ebook.

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      If The Viewpoint Character Is A Secondary Character, Have You Established Who He is?
                                                               By Nick Vernon

If The Viewpoint Character Is A Secondary Character, Have You Established Who He is?
  by: Nick Vernon

Creative Writing Tips –

I have said above that if a secondary character tells the story of the main character, then the spotlight
should be kept on the main character.

This shouldn’t be taken to the extreme though.

In other words, you don’t just write the story of the main character without telling your readers a bit
about your secondary character.

Unless the reader understands the reason a secondary character is telling the story, it will seem
peculiar that the main character isn’t telling it himself. It is, after all, the main character’s story.

So, the following have to be answered… Who is this secondary character? Why is he telling the story
instead of the main character? What is his connection with the main character?

Weave in some information about the secondary character so we can gain a better understanding of
his role in the story.

Besides his passion for writing, Nick Vernon runs an online gift site where you will find gift information,
articles and readers’ funny stories. Visit

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