Memorization can only get you so far: Lessons from Springer Nature Storytellers

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The Source
By: Lucy Frisch, Wed Feb 26 2020
Lucy Frisch

Author: Lucy Frisch

Springer Nature Storytellers hosted an event at Berlin Science Week in which five researchers on the front lines of discovery shared true stories about life behind the science. We asked each of the storytellers to tell us what it was like to communicate about their research in a more personal way. Listen to the stories they told and read more about what they learned from the experience. 

Masanori Nakayama studies the molecular mechanisms of angiosarcoma. In our interview below, he describes his experience with Springer Nature Storytellers—including why it's best to go with the flow rather than memorize your whole story.

What was your experience with storytelling and research communications before participating in the Berlin Storytellers event?

I've planned outreach activities at the Japanese embassy for Japanese kids living in Berlin and took part in that event.

How did you prepare to tell your story in front of this particular audience?

I prepared a manuscript for it with Skylar (The Story Collider) and tried to memorize it.

How did the actual event compare to your expectations?

To be honest, I forgot most of it (ha!) but I managed it just as well live, if only a bit different.

Was there anything that you took away from the experience that you plan to incorporate in your life as a researcher?

The responses from [the] audience were more positive than I expected.

What advice do you have for other researchers who want to improve their communication and storytelling skills?

If you try to memorize every single word, this is not a good idea. The actual event is very lively and it's best to be off a script.

Masanori Nakayama is a bio-medical scientist working on the molecular mechanisms of angiosarcoma at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Germany. His research interest is in angiosarcoma and his group is aiming to develop a new therapeutic strategy against angiosarcoma based on his personal experience.

To hear more stories from Springer Nature Storytellers at Berlin Science Week, click below:

An audience likes to see the 'human' in scientists by Liane G. Benning

You have to care about the audience by Carlos Riofrío

Lucy Frisch

Author: Lucy Frisch

Lucy Frisch is a Senior Marketing Manager on the Outreach and Open Research team, based in the New York office. She has a passion for storytelling and works to humanize the research published across Springer Nature with a focus on the researcher experience.