Wearing Your Storytelling Hat Without Compromising Instructional Design


With the Bootcamp on Learning Strategies less than two weeks away, ellicom is pleased to present a sneak preview of the themes that will be covered by its speakers.

By Marie Chassé, Senior Instructional Designer and Storyteller

It’s morning. 8 AM on the dot. Time for a cup of joe before diving into the instructional design of a course. The material leaves me uninspired. I’ve got nothing. The page is blank. I should be happy—all this freedom to create. But the pressure of the training calendar is weighing on me, which reminds me of the deadline, which doesn’t exactly get my creative juices flowing… ideas remain elusive to me.
Next to my desk is a storytelling hat. Wait—is that mine?

Why yes, it’s your instructional design/storytelling hat. When you wear it, you become the author of your own ideas. Try it on to see.

[The instructional designer puts on her storytelling hat.]
Wow, so many possibilities!

Your readers can’t see what you’re seeing right now. Can you clarify your thoughts so everyone can understand?

I’m seeing things differently… I’ve become an explorer of a whole new dimension guided by my learning objectives. The different ways to approach my content are becoming concrete. The subject seems so exciting to me now, in a way I hadn’t seen before.

During this workshop, we will discuss how to find the “key” to immersing ourselves in the world of our training subjects, both banal and exciting.

I see a pencil on my desk. I really feel like writing now! Hey look, here’s a memory aid. What’s it all about?

This memory aid outlines the main storyboarding strategies you can use to help organize your content.

[The instructional designer removes her storytelling hat.]
OK… but I’m an instructional designer, not a storyteller.

Put your hat back on, please.
You are an instructional designer and a storyteller. As an instructional designer, your role is to develop a solution that allows your learners to reach, or even surpass, the learning objectives identified to meet the training need. As a storyteller, your role is to develop a common thread that connects all parts of your learning solution to form a coherent, relevant, and inspiring whole.


When something inspires us, we are drawn to it by an invisible force, it keeps us on the edge of our seat, it makes us want to learn more.

[The designer turns around and sees a man who is smiling and seems to want to join the conversation.]
Who’s that? He seems to have something to say.

That’s Aristotle.

Aristotle… what’s the connection to storytelling?

It’s a long story… When I started developing my storyboarding workshops, I became interested in the formal logic and writings of Aristotle. Since then, he’s followed me everywhere.

And what about that man, over there?

That’s Raymond Queneau. There’s a story behind that, too. I’ll tell you all about it on May 30th.

I have one last question. The storyboards we develop—what will they look like? Not like this text, I hope!

Our storyboard is adapted to take storytelling strategies into account.

Okay! See you very soon.

And don’t forget to wear your storytelling hat.


The complete program can be found on the event website.

Click here to register and take advantage of the group discounts!

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