Oh my goodness did you hear what happened to that woman and her baby last week when she was walking home late at night?

Do I have your attention?

THIS is why storytelling is a great way to firstly, grab an audience’s attention, teach them a thing or two, and have  them remember the lessons in years to come.

If you are a teacher or a manager.. who is tied of your students and staff not listening to you, knowing this will make your life so much easier.

Even the busiest of people will stop to listen to someone’s story. If you want your students, team members, or staff to make time for training, trust me, threaten them with story time.

A good story will transport learners out of their stuffy meeting rooms, offices or a classroom and into an adventurous world. When the audience is in that new exciting world their mind becomes open to perceiving and thinking in new ways. This is an ideal position from which to learn new information and retain it.

Storytelling is a fundamental way in which human beings process and share information. Stories stick. They organise the information in a way that helps us think, learn and remember. They also evoke emotions which is what burns a memory into our brains. Not to mention, its fun to listen to a story and watch Netflix!

Stories can fuel understanding of all types of learning objectives including maths, science, history, social economics and even teaching appropriate behaviour and responses.

In its simplest form, storytelling remains a powerful element of communication, with the narrative being equally as compelling as essays and textbooks. Except unlike a textbook, presentations or pamphlet they humanise the learning experience, which brings in the emotion and makes it relatable to the student.

Narrative stories also put the viewer into someone else skin. What better way to learn what it is like to be a police officer than hear stories of being on the job through a documentary, a re-enactment or even an animation.

The narrative story should have four elements, people, place, a problem and the progress. Seeing the Protagonists adventure (with whom they can relate to) should inspire and motivate the audience to take that path, learn those lessons. They will be inspired to win, just like the character. And when your staff or students are motivated by an external force … they no longer need to be persuaded and you can stop wasting time on nagging and reminding them of something. Let the character do the work for you. There is something in the arc of the narrative, the quest that resonates with our mental makeup.

Remember our Croc brain that I spoke about a few Vlogs ago? If the information in front of you doesn’t serve your desire to survive and thrive right away, the brain will discard it. So when you want your students or staff to remember something, don’t throw them meaningless numbers and facts that are disconnected to anything important in their experience right now. Don’t lock them in a stuffy room with you droning on about something in a monotonous voice with a power point presentation.

But rather, create a world where they become a character embarking on a journey where they just happen to learn about the history of the world’s population or how to behave in a difficult situation at work.

We are certainly in a digital age, which means you should be teaching through narrative film. That way .. you make the lesson once and you can play it over and over again to different classes. Just press play, and facilitate the discussion after. Easy!

If you want to be really clever …. Remember Choose your Own Adventure Books? Well.. its now possible to produce choose your own adventure films where you can select the answers to the lessons learned, and reap the rewards.. or suffer the consequences.  This takes learning to another story level as they are both emotionally engaged and actively participating. WOW! Both learning powerhouses together! This is unstoppable.

Now… even though I believe we are all creative and all storytellers at heart. Please don’t try this alone, but call a professional filmmaker to come along side you to produce a narrative lesson that can be used in the classroom for years to come.

Good stories don’t age! That’s another beauty of film!

If you would like to talk to me about helping you produce a narrative film with a lesson please feel free to email me and Id love to help.


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