Why and How Stories Work

From Educators

“Stories serve an important purpose,” says NEFE’s education director Billy Hensley, Ph.D. “They remove the power dynamic in education, which tends to be ‘instructor knows everything’ and ‘learner knows nothing.’ Relating to a story helps a learner realize that he or she actually does know something about the subject.”

“Stories are unforgettable and people recall the details whenever they encounter a similar situation. When that happens, we have accomplished a snippet of lifelong learning,” says Susan Sharkey, director of the High School Financial Planning Program.

Stories work. Use them to:

  1. Provide a frame of relevance or purpose.
  2. Help develop rapport with learners.
  3. Help build credibility.
  4. Connect with your audience.
  5. Connect your audience to the educa¬tional material.

Best practices

  1. Choose timely and appropriate stories for the material and audience.
  2. Be conscious of your audience to avoid missteps.
  3. Use stories to enlighten, never to embarrass.
  4. Use your own personal stories as well as the stories of others.
  5. Be aware of the risk of using stories to generalize; your learners may have completely different experiences.

Contacts

  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]

  • Patricia (Pat) Seaman

    Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

    Direct: 303-224-3538
    [email protected]

Contacts

  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]

  • Patricia (Pat) Seaman

    Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

    Direct: 303-224-3538
    [email protected]