Restor(y)ing Academia: Oral storytelling skills for impact in research and teaching

9:00am - 5:00pm / Friday 17th November 2017
Type: Workshop / Category: Research
  • Suitable for: Staff and Postgraduate Students
  • Admission: Free. This event is open to all University of Liverpool staff and postgraduate students. This event is funded by capacity development funds made available through a National Institute for Health (NIHR) research grant to the Liverpool Reviews and Implementation Group.
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Earlier this year, storyteller and trainer Dr Hannah McDowall delivered a seminar about storytelling as both a valid and powerful tool for learning and communicating.
Now she returns to deliver a 1.5 day workshop to give you the basics in how to do it.

This workshop is for everyone who wants to develop their presenting skills and communicate their research, teaching or ideas in compelling ways to diverse audiences. No previous experience is needed.

In the corporate and charity world, a compelling narrative is known to sell products, ideas and bring in funding far better than facts and figures. Not only are stories more memorable than theories and concepts, research suggests they engage the brain, enhancing a sense of empathy, understanding and co-operation. These are precisely the outcomes needed for research to have an impact in the world both in and outside our academic disciplines, in the community, and amongst our students.

Summary of the workshop

Day 1 – 17th November: This initial full day workshop will teach you how to select and craft a story for presenting and will teach you performance techniques to build your confidence and skill in connecting to your audience. During the day you will select a short story to work on and then develop before the follow-up session.

Day 2 – 24th November: During the follow-up half day workshop, you will have the opportunity to deliver your story and receive personal coaching from Hannah to consolidate your learning and support your onward development and use of storytelling. Attendants from Day 1 will be split into two groups scheduled for either the morning or afternoon to enable smaller sized workshops and more one-to-one attention from Hannah.

Immediate workshop outcomes:

Full day:
 Improved confidence in all oral presentation of research/proposals/lecturing contexts
 New skills to craft stories which bring your research or projects to life
 Understanding of how to use story to complement theory and ‘facts’
 Performance skills for academics and those interested in knowledge transfer
 Peer support

Follow-up half day:
 Personal coaching in storytelling content and performance
 Peer learning and support in storytelling craft to maintain and develop skills beyond the workshop

Long-term outcomes:

People who have attended Hannah’s workshops have used their storytelling training to influence policymakers, funders, disseminate research outputs and in teaching students. The training has enabled researchers and university staff to connect funding bodies, members of the community and general public to their research ideas and projects in an innovative, inspiring and creative way.

Workshop location:

Day 1 – Friday 17th November
All day session: 9.30am – 5:00pm
Lunch and refreshments provided
Day 2 – Friday 24th November
Group 1 session: 9:30am-12:30pm
Group 2 session: 1:30pm-4.30pm
Lunch provided for both groups: 12:30pm-1:30pm

Please note that places are limited and will be filled on a first come first served basis. If you would like to attend please contact Dr Kate Jehan (

If you have booked a place and are unable to attend, please let us know as soon as possible so that we may offer your place to someone on the waiting list.