Train the Trainer – Participant Engagement with Stories

Train the Trainer – Participant Engagement with Stories

Successful movies which get you engaged have a formula. Engaging participants in training is Not so different, the same formula extends to training room. Whether you are developing leaders or training finance, applying this process together with the others we have discussed so far, will have a superior impact on engagement. The concept is simple, “The Bigger the Villain, the Bigger the Hero” Execution on the other hand, is more difficult since process of creating the scenario must have a foundation in knowing some of your participant’s problems. Here is the basic process:

  1. Help people to identify the biggest problems they have that your training will be solving or at least helping them to solve. Help them to see how bad these problems will affect their careers, life and happiness. Develop the villain.
    1. This can be done with a combination of reflection and stories
  2. Show How their lives and fulfillment will be different after they have overcome this villain and what “Specific” learnings will help them overcome this villain.
    1. Personal stories related to you or others overcoming issues your audience has through the learning they will gain.
  3. Building up to the end result. You cannot show an immediate solution, you must build them up to it with stories relating to how the villain still affects their work and life. If its too easy, it won’t stick!
    1. You must give them small steps and small association leading to a big triumph.
    2. Each step should be accompanied by a story to illustrate how a difference can be made. A strategy alone is never enough, the strategy must be accompanied by a smaller problem or part of a problem that supports and/or perpetuates an even bigger problem/villain… and it must show progress.

How do we structure our stories? The same concept applies. The Bigger the Villain, the bigger the Hero. Each of the stories must take the problem/villain, and make it BIG, showing all the problems stemming from the initial problem and relating the eventual downfall of the hero (person or process fighting against the villain), then show attempts at solving the problem FAIL, and the Hero almost giving up… But then, the solution (or reference a part solution) motivates a new attempt with a new approach and viola, the villain is overcome. More on the video:


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