Workshops and talks

Online and/or in-house
Storytelling for scientists

Storytelling for scientists

Duration: 4 webinars of 2-2.5 h each = 2 workshop days

Course type: Online or in-house workshop

Trainer: Karin Bodewits or Marloes ten Kate

Target group: All (PhD students to professors)

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 a 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 PowerPoint 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

  • Why do we need a story?
  • When to use story?
  • What we can learn from TED talks
  • Explain science through story

Types of stories

  • From mystery to comedy

5 steps to crafting a narrative

  • Planning a narrative
  • Characters in your story
  • Write an outline
  • Craft the story´s body
  • Adapt the story to your audience


  • Using the HBT model
  • Why stories need conflict

1 sentence and 1 paragraph stories

  • Your key message

Using story at/ in/ for:

  • Networking events
  • Scientific presentations
  • Publications/ thesis
  • Science festivals
  • Pint of science/ science slams/ storytelling shows

Course flow online

This is a 2-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 humour and absurdity.

Are you already curious and want to read more? We recommend "Houston, We Have a Narrative: Why Science Needs Story" by Randy Olson


Programme PDF (click to download)

Seminar programme

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