Storytelling is the practice of using stories to educate or relate information in a memorable, engaging way in order to create an emotional impact that leaves a lasting impression of you and your message.

When should storytelling be used?

Storytelling should be used when you want to: Spark action…Communicate who you are…Transmit values…Foster collaboration…Share knowledge…Lead people into the future.

What types of stories should be used?

There are four types of stories that are effective in professional settings. They are bridging the gap, analogy, evidence based/results, and Hero’s Journey. Below are some sample slides from a course on storytelling that I have facilitated.  

Has storytelling proven to be effective in professional development?

The research in this article showed a dramatic increase in learning retention when the practice of storytelling was utilized. 

This research project focused on the correlation between storytelling and transfer of learning. *also referenced in Transfer of Learning project

Daniel Pink says, “Stories are easier to remember because stories are how we remember. When facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable. What begins to matter more is the ability to place these facts in context and to deliver them with emotional impact.”

Watch this helpful video below!

Why is Storytelling so powerful? And how do we use it to our advantage? In the YouTube video below, presentations expert David JP Phillips shares key neurological findings on storytelling. Understanding the link between the science of storytelling and how adding this practice to presentations and content, can increase engagement and learning retention and provide a more positive experience for learners. 


4 Ways to Use Storytelling in Training

Storytelling and Brain Science: This Is Your Brain on Story

Davis, J. R. & Arend, B.D. (2013). Facilitating seven ways of learning: A resource for more purposeful, effective, and enjoyable college teaching. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.