You know when you're telling these little stories? Here's a good idea: have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!” - Neal Page
Now some of our younger readers may not recognize that quote, but our more life-experienced ones should. Page, played by Steve Martin, uttered this fantastic quote in one of the best movies of all time - Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Please tell me you’ve seen this classic. If you haven’t, do it now. Like right now. You’ll thank me later.
Even though the quote is in a fictional story, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t tremendous value in it. In fact, many law enforcement trainers would do well to follow this advice.
How many classes have you sat through where the content was just one war story after another? Most, if not all, of them had nothing to do with the class at all. You just happened to be the captive audience the “trainer” needed to tell their story to someone new.
Stories are incredibly powerful. But only when they are constructed properly and are relevant. And by relevant, I mean relevant to not only the class topic but the specific topic you are covering at the time of the story. In the words of Neal Page, “Have a point. It makes it so much better for the listener.”
The time we are entrusted with to train others is a valuable commodity. It is decreasing at a time where it is needed more than ever. We must be good stewards of that time. Stories can enhance this time, but only if has a point - take it from Neal.