Seminar: Storytelling for Scientists

Seminar PDF

Duration: 2-3 days

Course type: 30% theory, 70% practical examples

Trainer: Karin Bodewits

Number of participants: Max. 10

We all enjoy a good story, whether it’s during a presentation, a job interview, a conference coffee break, or simply during a pub night. Why? It activates the same areas of our brain that would be activated during the actual event. Consequently, audiences feel so much more engaged when they hear a narrative about your real-life experiences as researcher or how you finally chased that superbug down. Much more than if you monotonously talk them through a list of bullet points on a power point slide. But to be understood when talking about one’s own research work, let alone to speak about yourself, is not easy for many researchers. During this seminar, you learn to enchant a wide range of audiences with science stories and to captivate a lay audience with complex research results. Because… speaking science can be magical!

Seminar contents

  • The power of storytelling
  • Great storytellers of our time
  • Bringing science across using stories
  • True, personal stories
  • Research & stories
  • Craft a narrative
  • Conflict and resolution in stories
  • Real science by humans vs. dead science by robots: the emotions in your story (from heart-breaking to hilarious)
  • Engage the general public
  • Translating complicated concepts that are jargon-heavy into terms and ideas a lay audience can understand
  • The message: from transmitter to receiver
  • Head-Body-Tail model
  • Story transportation vehicles: emotionality, humour, curiosity and surprise up to the climax/ main message

This is a 2 to 3- day course that can be followed by a lively evening programme (e.g. at a retreat) with personal- or science story contributions from all course participants. The evening programme will be moderated by us with wittiness and absurdity.

Seminar leader

Karin Bodewits (PhD) is a biochemist, speaker, writer and the co-founder of NaturalScience.Careers. She is the author of the humorous campus novel ‘You Must Be Very Intelligent’ (Springer), won the Munich Science Slam in 2017, and regularly writes popular science articles and short stories for science magazines. In 2017, she participated in the Springer Nature storytelling event in Portland (USA). Karin regularly gives career- and soft-skill seminars for scientists in the last 6 years.