Storytelling Techniques and theatre training methods for science teachers and popularizers

Storytelling Techniques and theatre training methods for science teachers and popularizers

A workshop by Jet Propulsion Theatre


Very often arises the need for speaking in public: to present a research project, to ask for a grant, when giving a lesson… but just as often we may feel uneasy about the challenge.

Do I feel comfortable being in front of an audience? What am I doing with my body and voice? Am I conveying the correct message? How do I tailor my message to my audience? Should I emphasize certain words or concepts? Which ones? Should I look at the audience in the eyes? How do I know when I have the audience’s attention and what to do if I start to lose it? In other words: how do I become a better speaker?

This workshop helps popularizers and communicators of science better understand their audiences, tailor their messages to them, and convey ideas powerfully using storytelling and other performing arts techniques.  Participants will leave the workshop with practical tools helping them to analyse and target their audience, identify key messages in their science communication in order to better convey their messages.

Jet Propulsion Theatre

Jet Propulsion Theatre is a permanent laboratory for the theatrical creation connected to science, the people of science and the scientific tale. The project was started in 2012 by Dr. Andrea Brunello and Dr. Stefano Oss and is carried by the Arditodesìo Theatre Company in Trento, Italy.  The project JPT aims to narrate science by means of theatre and artistic expression, to develop a sense of curiosity and wonder, a thirst for knowledge, and to allow a better comprehension of the scientific world, the people that live it, the results of science and, bottom line, to better understand our present and future. To achieve its mission, JPT develops science engagement and outreach through theatre productions, joint art-science performances, and training programmes for members of the scientific community (researchers, teachers, communicators, students, etc.). JPT also reaches out to the science community through publications and research papers in periodicals such as NATURE Nanotechnology (May 2019, From science to theatre - Rich in drama, the scientific enterprise is an ideal subject to elicit an emotional response in the public) and the Scientix Network Observatory Papers (April 2019; Bringing Research into the Classroom – The Citizen Science approach in schools).


Day 1 (3 hours) - Perspective, understanding and defining

Module 1 deals with defining the subject, key messages and deeply understanding the audience.

What is modern science communication? What is my role as a storyteller and communicator? Why is it important that I maximize my impact? Furthermore, what is the real narrative that I want to convey? What is my audience, and what is their level of knowledge on the subject? What stereotypes do they have regarding the subject, and how can we debunk them? How is the subject relevant to them, to society? This module will enable us to take a step back from the detail of what we wish to communicate, to situate it in a wider context, learn about our audiences and how to adapt the key messages to them.

Day 2 (7 hours) - Storytelling techniques

Module 2 is about applying storytelling techniques to convey the message.

By using aptly modified theatre training and storytelling techniques we open up to the audience and become better public speakers. In the process we develop practical exercises to: finding one’s center; increase one’s own awareness (what I do, what others do); gaining a healthy sense of confidence in the relationship with the others; developing listening skills; improvisation; tempo/rhythm; leadership and courage. Moreover, during this module some time is devoted to proper breathing techniques and voice management. During the last part of day 2, participants will be invited to develop a brief presentation that will be delivered to the rest of the grouhp. This “hands on” experience is a fundamental part of the workshop.

Workshop hosts

Practical information

Where? State Studio Berlin, Hauptstraße 3, 10827 Berlin

When? 5 - 6 July 2019
5 July: 3PM - 6PM followed by a dinner together (optional, at extra cost)
6 July: 9AM - 5PM

€125 per person for the 10 hour training programme, including coffee breaks.