Sharing stories to support learning

3 Dec

I’m speaking today at Online Educa Berlin about how to capture and share stories that stick with people to support learning.

Why not pick up your smartphone and capture some stories of your own? Share them with me on Twitter.

Here are some tips:


  • Uncover the learning need by speaking to your audience
  • Find out what their challenges and pain-points are and turn these into interview questions
  • Select the right person for the interview – not the most ‘PR-friendly’ person

Connect & prep

  • Before the interview, connect with your interviewee – even if just a phonecall
  • Build rapport
  • Ask them to think about stories and examples
  • Share an idea of the kinds of questions you will ask
  • Explain exactly what will happen in the interview
  • Cover off questions – what to wear?
  • Building the groundwork to gain permission to share


  • Allow plenty of time for your interview – 90 minutes for 15 questions
  • Aim for 30 mins getting your subject settled and briefing (5 warm up questions)
  • 60 mins of core interview (5 key questions)
  • 30 mins to go back over questions for in-depth points
  • Ensure the interviewee frames the question as part of the answer

Questions to ask to uncover stories

Think about this example: “Tell me what a good leader is” vs. “Tell me about the best leader you’ve ever had.” The latter will uncover a story, not just a list.

Ask structured, open questions. Think www: Who? What? Why? Then build in the detail buy asking: Where? When? How did you feel?). Try asking people to tell you about a time when ‘X’ happened. What was the situation? What happened? What was the outcome? How did they feel?

Example questions

What’s been your most challenging moment?

Tell me about your most proud achievement – what happened? Why? What was the outcome

What was the most frustrating thing that happened on this project?


Let me know what worked for you and if you have any tips of your own to share!

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