How to write training scenarios – style tips

Add life to your training scenarios

Make every scene sound real
with this free toolkit

Do your training scenarios sound a little ... fake?

Is the dialog stiff? Do the scenes seem forced?

This free mini-toolkit will help. You'll quickly conquer the four main style challenges I've seen in many years of helping people write scenario-based training.

  • Why too much drama hurts your scenario, and how to fix it
  • How to show, not tell so players feel like part of the action
  • How to make dialog sound natural but concise
  • What to delete from your text, and what to include

Fun exercises help you practice rewriting blah scenario text, and you'll dig deeper through links to more resources.

Why is it hard to write fiction that sounds real?

We've been brainwashed by school and work.

"You need to impress people with big words and long sentences," the brainwashing says. "It should be hard to figure out who did what, and the only acceptable verb is 'is.'"

Deprogram yourself with this toolkit.

You'll learn how to write easy-to-picture scenes and real-sounding dialog, and you'll discover the joy of cutting everything else.

See a sample page

Why listen to me?

I've been a training designer for most of my 37-year career. But I've also published an award-winning fictionalized biography and worked as an editor and copywriter.

I've written scenarios for Fortune 500 clients since 2003 and have shared scenario design tips in my blog since 2009.

My online course in scenario design has run several times a year since 2013. Participants come from organizations that include Amnesty International, Oracle, Ikea, Volvo, and the US Department of the Treasury. I've learned a ton from the challenges that participants face.

Want a sample of my writing style? The first two example scenarios on this page were written by me.

It's quick and it's free!

Sign up for instant access to the mini-toolkit. You'll also get access to other free resources on the Action at Work platform, including job aids to help you design targeted, relevant training, and a webinar on how we can motivate learners.