The Power of Storytelling

I’m have a confession to make.

This post is another plug for another event.

On Thursday 11 May at 6.00pm, I am going to be one of the researchers sharing stories about their research as part of Tales from the Ivory Tower. Maybe researcher is stretching it a bit as I’m a MA student who hasn’t started her thesis research yet. However, getting up in front of an audience to share a story seemed a really good way to throw myself out of my comfort area and into something completely new.

So why storytelling?

Stories have a power that presenting a research paper doesn’t have. They welcome in people to share your experiences and knowledge. When we share a story, our audience comes with us on a journey. By the end of the story, it is as much their’s as it is ours.

I’m going to be sharing a little about how being the granddaughter of divorcees and having an obsession with Arthurian legend has led me to the thesis I want to study. I will be effectively inviting people to share in my life in the hope of changing their minds about how the choices of one generation impact the lives of their children and grandchildren. Telling this as a story engages their emotions, their sympathy, in a way that presenting an academic paper cannot do.

Being the storyteller

Developing my own story has been as much about learning about myself as it has been learning a new technique or more about a subject area. I’ve discovered my limits about what I’m willing to share and how I am willing to share it. I’ve realised how much my own choices are impacted by other people. You could say I forced myself into a corner where I had to accept certain things about my family that I had ignored before.

The power of a story is in it’s ability to make the audience sympathise with the narrative. Once you have gained an audience’s sympathy, then you can explain your research,

 

If you are interested in how researchers turn research into narratives or what has been their inspiration, we will be sharing our stories in Brood Cafe Bar at Roco on 11 May, You can register here.

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