May 2012
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TD Magazine

Four Ways to Use Stories to Energize Your Training

Monday, May 7, 2012

Storytelling is a powerful communication method that makes your presentations and training more compelling and coaching more effective. Here are four instances when using stories can be particularly effective.


New-hire orientation: Share stories about what you do as an organization that makes a difference in the world for both your customers and community.

Starting a presentation: Grab your audience's interest right away by sharing a story about how knowing the material your presentation covers made a difference to someone with whom you worked.

Teaching abstract concepts: Use analogies from common, everyday life and from your learner's unique perspective.


Coaching: Use a story to help you challenge limiting beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes. Because you are demonstrating the concept through "just a story," you often encounter less defensiveness and resistance.

These tips were adapted from the May 2012 Infoline, "Powerful Storytelling Techniques," available at

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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