8 Tips on How to Use Literary Devices in Online Training

Learn how to improve storytelling using literary devices in online training

We’ve all read a book that we just can’t put down. The story makes us turn the page to such an extent that we lose all track of time. It wasn’t just the character development or the plot that drew us in, but the way the story was told, every literary device lent itself to the experience. You can achieve the same effect with online training. Allusions, metaphors, and anecdotes help employees relate to content and invest them emotionally. They can even simplify complex concepts so employees can put theory into practice. Here are some top tips on how to use literary devices in online training.

1. Use allusions to provide continuity and context

As the name suggests, an allusion is when someone mentions another story or character to give more context. This online training storytelling technique can help you maintain consistency throughout the course and tie everything together. Employees get to know a character and identify with their behavior and motivations. This is a great way to reinforce knowledge and show how the same ideas and concepts apply in different situations.

2. Include epigraphs to create an emotional connection

Using a quote from another work can inspire employees and perhaps even create a sense of nostalgia. Epigraphs are direct quotations that provide background information or offer a new perspective. For example, the quote expresses the narrator’s thoughts and feelings in their own words. It builds an emotional connection and helps employees understand the topic better. Just make sure you give credit to the author and show how the citation is ambiguous. For example, epigraphs highlight how important it is to wear the right safety gear or develop strong communication skills.

3. Include euphemisms to lighten the tone

Euphemisms have small or light images to describe a graphic event. For example, you can downplay an on-the-job injury to spare employees from gruesome details, while still emphasizing the gravity of the situation. These literary devices lighten the mood without undermining the subject. This makes them perfect for online training storytelling and problems that might be too harsh for a sensitive audience.

4. Encourage visualization with vivid images

Storytelling in online training may not have the same flair as a fiction novel. You’re not picturing stunning landscapes or quirky characters, but you can still use imagery to help trainees visualize the content and immerse themselves in the action. For example, describe the workplace or a piece of equipment so they understand how to perform the task. This way they can picture the process in their mind. Imagery is also ideal for soft skills, such as online training in storytelling that teaches non-verbal cues or builds empathy.

5. Use eye-opening metaphors

Metaphors make comparisons between two ideas that seem completely unrelated. This is another visualization and contextualization technique that helps employees allocate money. It also opens their eyes to compliance issues or trends in a subtle way For example, if someone is ‘walking a tightrope’, employees can sense that the situation is vulnerable. They need to deal with the situation immediately to avoid negative consequences.

6. Illustrate the point with a personal anecdote

Personal anecdotes are one of the most popular literary devices in e-learning because they are so relatable. These stories illustrate the importance of training and how employees can use the concepts in their real lives. Someone has done this before and achieved better results. Trainees are able to follow examples and improve their workplace performance. Similarly, the anecdote can tell the sad story of a manager who lacked the necessary skills. Employees learn what not to do and common mistakes to avoid They don’t repeat the same mistakes because the anecdote warns of negative feedback.

7. Inject subtle humor with sarcasm

Satire is one of the trickiest literary devices in online training because it must be subtle. You don’t want to create controversy and make employees feel uncomfortable. Used correctly, it can inject humor into your online training storytelling and engage employees on a personal level. You can use sarcasm to poke fun at the company’s long list of dress code rules; At the same time highlighting why protocols exist For example, keeping your brand image intact and maintaining credibility. Customers know what to expect when they walk in the door, and every employee represents your brand outwardly through their clothing. But satire lightens the mood and acknowledges that there are numerous rules to follow. Satire can be in the form of animation, comics, or storytelling videos that highlight important points and drum up laughter.

8. Give personality to products to make it more memorable

Learning about all the products and services your company offers is usually boring or mentally taxing. They must remember all the features and specs. However, a small amount of embodiment can help them remember the takeaway. As an example, create animated stories that give your new product a personality or assign characteristics that are typically human. Personality also works for work-related tools. Like keeping neglected equipment happy with frequent check-ups and maintenance.


You may be tempted to cram all of these literary devices into a single story to achieve maximum impact. However, if you try to pack too much into a story, the staff can become immune. Use them sparingly to prevent cognitive overload and focus on the takeaway. Remember that devices should be used as an enhancement tool to assign meaning and encourage personal reflection. You must ensure that the content is culturally appropriate so that every member of the team can reap the rewards.

You don’t have to tell the story yourself. Find the right e-learning content provider for your online training program using our online directory. See which outsourcing companies specialize in your industry and evaluate their list of L&D solutions.

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