Storytelling for Data Scientists #BusinessStorytelling

A storytelling workshop with multiple participants sitting in a circle

Photo Credit: Tabea Rettelbach

Year: 2021
Client: HEIBRiDS
Service: Business Storytelling

An Interactive Storytelling Workshop

A live interactive workshop that teaches scientists how to use storytelling to communicate to their peers and the public at large.

How To Experience Storytelling as a Scientist

Due to the theoretical nature of data science, it is especially challenging for the PhD students to describe their research to non-specialists. Here’s where storytelling becomes especially useful.

In this interactive workshop, I first engaged the students‘ fast-thinking scientific minds by revealing how beautifully complex and layered storytelling can be. 

Once they were busy thinking about taking their audience on a magical, heroic journey, I involved their emotions by having them collaboratively analyze cinematic stories

Once brains and hearts were synced and running full steam ahead, I engaged their imagination. We used empathy to fill the shoes of our potential audiences.

We went one step further. To demonstrate that storytelling works, we applied it in simple yet effective exercises.

To always keep them fully involved, I interjected these practical exercises with learning and discussion. With each round, the students refined their narrative and found better ways of telling their stories.

The Benefits of Storytelling in Data Science

This workshop is deeply contextual and practical. In just 4 hours of work, the group had a new universal reference matrix embedded in books, movies, TV shows, and famous speeches. 

They also gained the ability to create narratives based on the research behind Presentation Hero and my study of Business Storytelling. But more importantly, they had all sorts of new impulses: during the workshop, they started to rethink how they presented their work and started finding out how to integrate storytelling into their subsequent academic papers and presentations.

All attendees said the content would be useful in their current position. They found that the workshop professionally conveyed content and at the same time provided an opportunity to bring their own ideas. 70% of the participants evaluated their instructor as excellent.

That’s what I call a resounding success. But don’t take my word for it. This is what Dr. Eirini Kouskoumvekaki, HEIBRiDS Project Manager at Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, had to say:

The workshop was very innovative and well structured, and brought to the surface challenges in scientific communication that our PhD students are dealing with in their professional life. The use of cinema as the common ground for storytelling experiences was very engaging and encouraged active participation. With this, Matteo created the right environment for honest and open discussions among the participants. I would highly recommend it both as a team-building activity, as well as an introduction to a highly effective approach to science communication.”

Click here to book your own storytelling workshop.

Related pages:

Business Storytelling

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