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Top 5 essentials of storytelling for every online course!


Constructing a narrative is quite essential for connecting the learners with the speakers. For that, you need to understand the needs and demands of the learner, then the narrative is built.

Storytelling has the power to emotionally connect with the audience. A strong connection is built between the speaker and the learner. In this blog, I will try to highlight the 5 essentials of storytelling that every online course should have.

A strong connection with the learners is a must.

It is a big question and sometimes a problem to create content that not only engages the learner but also gives measurable results. Construct a narrative in such a way that strongly connects you with the learner and is according to their needs. 

Storytelling is considered being one of the oldest and the best ways to transmit knowledge to learners. One such example is that our ancestors transmit all their qualities and knowledge by telling us their experiences as a story. 

In this way, the interest of the listener is also maintained, and things are easily understood. Storytelling helps in bringing the online theoretical concept into real-world application, increasing the engagement and motivation of the learner. But sometimes our ability to reach out to the learners fails because of bland or incomplete content.

Why does content fail?

Well, I think most of the content fails because of the inability to connect with the learners. When a learner enrolls themselves in an online course, they expect from it. It may be a promise that we solve all their doubts and complex problems according to their demands. 

Most of the courses fail to fulfill the fundamental aspects of storytelling while building the content, violating the promise to provide the desired roadmap to the learners. 

Storytelling can link emotions and empathy, which encourages critical thinking in the learners. All this is possible when you identify the essential elements of the storytelling for building the desired content. 

5 essentials of storytelling.

There may be various essential elements of storytelling, but here I’ll mention the top 5 of them. The content builders must include these elements in the content as early as possible for a measurable outcome. The 5 essentials are:

  1. Setting

  2. Character

  3. Object/Aim

  4. Clear narrative 

  5. Revelation

We must clearly identify the above elements while creating the content for the storytelling. Discussed below is the detailed study of these elements. Just give a full read to understand the concept in a much better way.

  • Setting

The setting is one of the crucial elements of the storytelling which has a notable impact on the character’s action. For instance, your character has atypical behavior at home and different at offices. The surrounding or the setting depicts a lot about the character’s action. The setting should be so realistic that it should captivate the learner’s mind and attention. The best thing is to include vivid images that let the learner connect them with real life. These images can be anything related to the detailing of the appearances or the details of the surrounding. A structured setting with a firm foundation is best suited for the desired storytelling. 

  • Character

All the eLearning stories are incomplete without a strong character. Can you imagine a novel with no character? I know it sounds weird. Similar is the case with eLearning. Every element is baseless to include in storytelling if you are not mentioning the character. Therefore, selecting the right character is one of the most important tasks in the eLearning industry. Excellent research is required about the audience and what type of character they prefer to see. This is because then only the learners can easily connect and determine that everything in the story is perfect. To figure out the best character that suits your story, you can simply note down all the suggestions and then carefully determine which character fits best in the story. You can also describe the quality of each character so that the learner can understand the need for it in the story. Avoid irrelevant characters, as this will eventually lead to confusion in the story as well for the learner. 

  • Object/Aim

Stating the object of the story dictates the aspects of your storytelling. This is because the learners are aware of what this is about and why it promotes the respective aim. You can create storyboards to depict each point from dialogue to all the scenes and we can include everything in it. As every tale has an end where the goal or aim is to achieve ultimately. So a story is incomplete without an object or a goal. 

  • Clear narrative

A precise and cohesive narration of the story is a must for perfect storytelling. For that, you need to first decide the overall tone of the entire summary, as this will help you have an evenness in the story. For instance, you want your story to create an emotional bond with the learner, but it has to be professional, then you can use a simple conversational tone that is suitable for the things. You must also continue at the same pace for your story to be consistent throughout. Similarly, you can use different modes of tone for different situations as per the demand. 

  • Revelation

Your story begins with one thing and gradually things are added from characters to twists and eventually, there is a revelation to everything. This is a very interesting point where you can ask the active participation of the learners in revealing things. You can ask the learner that if this situation has occurred in real life, then how would you have reacted to this? Or you can stop the storytelling in a particular situation and ask the learners to determine the upcoming revelation to it. This is one of the most interactive elements which enhances the productivity of the storytelling. 


If you include these 5 essential elements in your storytelling, then it will create a wonderful learning experience and make the eLearning course more exciting and engaging. While this might require some extra resources, the outcome is quite interesting. 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.

Final image

Mayuresh S. Shilotri writes on Product, EdTech, UX, Customer Development & Early Stage Growth. 2,000-Word posts only. You can discover more about me here

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