How To Develop Stories For Corporate Training

What To Include In Business Stories For Corporate Training

How To Develop Stories For Corporate Training by Bruce Mayhew Consulting

I’ve written in earlier posts about how business stories are effective when you want to describe behaviors, needs and actions within case studies or sales materials… but how about using stories for corporate training events?

Unfortunately, most business stories follow a traditional story telling structure which might not work in corporate training environments. Why? Because corporate training requires a faster paced approach to keep a participants attention. So… in most of my training workshops I borrow from a relatively new short story framework developed by Dan North called, ‘Behavior-driven development (BDD).

What Is The BDD User Story Framework?

BDD is a communication and collaboration framework initially designed for software development that uses short stories to outline user behavior. (reference Wikipedia)  It’s that short – behavior focused approach that I like of BDD.

The BDD user-story framework works like this: “As a [role] I want [feature] so that [benefit].”

The idea is to share what’s important as well as why it’s important. Stories following this approach help readers/listeners tap into their compassion and empathy, therefore quickly tapping into feelings when exploring solutions.

How Short Stories For Corporate Training Work

Lets assume an employee is requesting Time Management training. The need for training can be described as follows: “As an employee I want Time Management training so that I can meet my goals, reduce my stress level and have greater work/life balance.

A story that would support this training environment would be:

As a business manager I have three days before the weekend and the start of my 2-week vacation. I have three outstanding items that should take a week to complete all three.

I want to finish all my work so that I can help my family prepare for the vacation as well as not have to work during my vacation which would disappoint my family (and myself). I am feeling pressured by work, my family and myself.

One of the best Time Management techniques is to review if 1, 2 or all 3 of the projects are Important Work or Busy Work. Of course, Important Work always takes precedent.

In this corporate training environment, an in-class discussion can quickly take place on how to approach and resolve this situation. Also, because it is a short story there are only a few variables; this helps everyone focus on the training / lesson.


By using BDD to develop business stories for corporate training, any example can quickly become a real, emotionally charged situation that everyone can emphatically relate to or imagine happening. Using this structure also empowers everyone to have robust, on-point conversations. 

Happy communicating and business story writing.

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Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Multigenerational Training, Time Management and Mindfulness.

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About Bruce Mayhew
Bruce Mayhew is a Leadership Coach, Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer who builds strong client and co-worker relationships that give clients a competitive advantage. Our training and development programs include: ■Generational Differences ■Effective Business Email Writing ■Email Etiquette ■Phone Etiquette ■Behaviour Event Interviewing (BEI) ■Mindfulness ■Using Linkedin to Build Client Relationships ■Objective Setting Made Easy

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