The art and science of storytelling workshop

This post is part of a series about teaching in the International Business Bachelor’s Programme at The Hague University of Applied Sciences from 2015-2020.

On 25 August 2016, I attended a staff day and workshops with The Hague University of Applied Sciences. There was a lot on offer form artists and creative thinkers. The goal was for us lecturers to “reshape everyday quality” and bring more creativity into our classes.

The workshop I chose was “The art and science of storytelling”.

How do you create impact? How do you involve others in your story? Which story do you tell in which situation, to whom and why? What impact do you want to create? How do you create change? Your hosts for this pressure cooker storytelling are Grainne Delaney (actress, psychologist, coach, creative wonder) and Andreas Vonder (playwright and director). A short introduction to storytelling. Please. Step into the light.

I found the timeline graph a really interesting way of uncovering stories from our own lives:

We then pinpointed 3 stories and worked on a quick draft of these before sharing in a small group:

The facilitators shared some tips and tools we could use, for example:


  • Fact
  • Opinion
  • Anecdote
  • Metaphor

Another storytelling structure:

  • Setting
  • Challenge/problem
  • Struggle/journey
  • Outcome
  • Some more storytelling tips:

  • Consider your audience – they have to care
  • Minds are wired for meaning and we fill in gaps ourselves, so don’t leave big parts of the story out
  • Stories that stick share struggles – in the right context
  • We have an impulse to act, so tell people what you want them to do (or not do) for example – reflect, sign up, don’t do what I did.
  • The circle of struggle must be done before you can tell your story

Thanks to Grainne, Andreas and the other participants for a great workshop!

Renee 🙂

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