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Mike Hunder: Storytelling in an Era of Online Classrooms



Once upon a time, many of the world’s best coaches worked out of their homes in far-flung locations upcountry, offering flexible schedules and a view of the beautiful weather outside. It was well… except that all was not well.

Coaches and trainers started to feel the scale pressure – as only a few people got to know about them and the services they offered. Online business coaching later emerged to solve this problem. Today, online coaching is open to everybody and every industry and is a cheap alternative to traditional learning in classrooms and hotels.

However, in today’s world where everyone seems to be glued to their laptops, it’s easy to feel isolated from human contact. The connections that you experienced with your students in traditional learning settings get missing in the new online classrooms. So people often ask: “Where’s the connection in online coaching? If you’re not having fun, what’s the point?”

We may be in the digital age, but successful online coaching is still actually driven by storytelling. As with traditional classes, so shall storytelling be with online classes! This means you need to incorporate storytelling as a core teaching method in your online coaching courses. By this, you are able to bring the connections that your students are missing from traditional learning settings back to life.

Here are four ways you can use storytelling as a means of building connections and relationships among clients in your online coaching business:

Build Emotions that Compel Your Clients to Act

Have you ever been in an audience and found that you were totally engaged and connected to the facilitator? And then wish that you could make an equally strong connection with your own audience? If you really look into it, you’ll realize that a story is involved.

Popular stories of people who overcame their difficulties have all sparked emotions in people – which compelled many to act and to share. That’s exactly how business storytelling builds positive emotions that resonate with learners.

Share Real-life Scenarios

I remember a mini-course on productivity improvement which I coached. I initially focused on building productive habits but this seemed dry and difficult for my audience to follow. Then I shared a personal story about how I stagnated as a banking officer for 7 years before meeting a new boss and mentor, Dr. Rotimi Adelola, who introduced me to the discipline of productive habits. By this, I worked my way from a banking officer to a bank executive in the second 7 years! So what happened? A few daily habits I learned from my mentor doubled my productivity and turned my life around!

With this, my clients were able to see how they can apply the productive habits I was teaching to their own situation in order to improve their productivity and career upgrade.

Help your clients to remember

I read a story about John Montagu, a British politician. He enjoyed playing cards in his free time and liked eating snacks. So he came up with the idea to eat beef between slices of toast with one hand while keeping the other one hand free for the cards. By this, he was able to eat snacks and play cards at the same time. That was how ‘sandwich’ was invented and it became a popular meal invention in the western world, back in 1748!

Now, I bet you are not likely to forget the story of who invented the sandwich or, at least, less likely to forget than if it had been presented in bullet points formats! That’s how storytelling helps your audience to remember.

Build Audience Interactions and Involvement

Storytelling also encourages your audience to ask questions, share their opinions and views. Helping to build clients’ interactions and involvement, as well as create beautiful dynamics between members, creates a real impact on them. You will also be able to get a good sense of your client’s needs and what you can do to help, leading to the solutions that they seek.

For additional resources to learn how to put this knowledge into practice, visit my website,

Entrepreneur and a fellow of Professional Speakers Society of Nigeria, Mike built his reputation on taking time out to share his experiences. Pulling back the curtain, as it were, to help people build the lifestyle and business they really want. You can reach him at Email: [email protected] /

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