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Once upon a time

PMO Team,    08 Jan 2013
Once upon a time

From the dawn of human history, stories and learning have always gone hand in hand. Cave dwellers scratched pictures into rocks to demonstrate hunting prowess. The great prophets and philosophers used parables to impart moral values. Parents use bedtime stories to teach children proper behavior. Teachers employ analogies to simplify complex theories. Brands narrate case studies to bring their promises to life.

In his book Tell to Win, Peter Guber compares stories to the Trojan horse. Just as the hidden Greek warriors sneaked into Troy inside the wooden horse, the storyteller’s message emerges from within a carefully constructed narrative.

Interakt often harnesses the power of storytelling to engage the senses, touch the emotions, and create a meaningful learning experience for the audience. We call this Engaged Learning.

Just as a statistics-based report can influence public opinion, a good story influences learners to change the way they think or behave. It pushes them to understand and motivates them to act. A good story keeps playing again and again in the learners’ minds, reinforcing the lesson and improving retention.

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To ensure a compelling learning experience, we brainstorm and carefully choose a storyline directly relevant to the audience’s needs, the subject matter, and the situation. Our Engaged Learning programs most often “show” the story as much as “tell” it through video, animation, and intriguing visuals.

In earlier blogs, we’ve recounted how Interakt used storytelling to transform two very unlikely concepts—industrial-use water and reverse osmosis system — into interesting, lively characters to help Nalco teach its global sales team how to sell a complex new technological product.

Another example of Engaged Learning, the SOX Challenge, demonstrates how Interakt used a creative analogy — boxing and a virtual training camp—to capture the imagination and the attention of C-level executives to prepare them to respond to the intricacies and challenges of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act passed by the U.S. Congress.

While such powerful and engaging stories achieve impressive results across virtually all forms of corporate training, Interakt regularly extends the power of storytelling more broadly through instructive, persuasive brand communications for both internal and external audiences. To see how, check out the “Broadway musical” story we created for the New York City Economic Development Council.

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