Oscar winners and great training have more common ground than you might initially think. See what qualities these two share and how you can get on the path to creating training that lines up with an Academy Award-winning film.

They Stir Up Emotion

Oscar winning movies and actors are highly acclaimed for their ability to stir up strong emotions in the hearts and minds of audience members. Think of Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything or a movie like Whiplash that’s packed with intensity. These films and characters make us laugh, cry, sweat, or become introspective about our own lives.

A great training course has the same effect. By cuing an emotional response within a trainee, learning experiences become much more powerful and leave a lasting impact. The best training stirs up emotions like joy, anger, fear, and sadness and transforms them into teaching moments.

They Whisk Us Away

We love Academy Award-winning movies for their ability to transport us to another place and time, if only for a few hours. Whether it’s a trip back in time or a vacation to another place—these films give us a mental break from the world around us.

Even without a multi-million dollar movie budget, you can create a training experience that does the same thing. Training gives participants a bit of time to focus on improving their skills, and to take a break from the daily grind of task completion. When it’s done right, training is enjoyable, and has an entertaining element like these films do, too.

They Have Important Underlying Themes

Oscar winners usually go beyond mere entertainment and touch on themes and issues that are important and relevant. Think of films like Selma that touch on the Civil Rights movement or Dallas Buyers Club that focuses on the issue of AIDS and medical treatment. These movies take a deep dive into non-superficial issues and have a deeper moral within.

Training that excels also goes beyond the basics—it lets trainees practice with hands-on activities, allows them to learn by looking at concepts from an outside perspective, and makes learners think about processes and ideas from a big-picture view.

They Are Creative and Dazzling

Timeless, award-winning movies are often ones that do something innovative and creative—something viewers have never seen before or something presented in a unique light. Think of the visual effects in Avatar or the animation in Up. We cherish these movies for their art and creativity.

Great courses also wow trainees with fantastic design, creative teaching formats, and highly successful modules that simulate real-life activities, too. These aren’t your standard, slide-by-slide trainings: They are advanced teaching tools that include interaction and dazzling creativity (but not too much so that they’re distracting).

Oscar Winners and Great Training: Similar, But Different

Now, are a movie and a training course on the same level? Ummm…no. But when executed well, they have quite a few commonalities.

Strive to design training that would do all of the things an Oscar-winning movie would, and you’ll be on the path to fame and awards (or maybe just really happy clients.)