"Formulate to Communicate"

This workshop is a partnership between PalermoScienceImprov and Paul Propster, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab's Office of Formulation.

Paul Propster (proper noun): seasoned-storyteller, strategy-lover, line-blurrer, team-motivator, message-driven professional. With more than 25 years in strategic communications, Paul has helped clients across industry to tell their stories. From small women-owned businesses to NASA, he partners with teams to cultivate a narrative of “the why” that produces greater emotional investment in stakeholders.

Since 2014, Paul has been the resident “storytelling evangelist” for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab’s Office of Formulation, spearheading the development and establishment of storytelling processes and tools.


Also as Associate Program Manager of JPL’s Office of Strategic Planning, he co-led the development and delivery of the 2018 Strategic Implementation Plan. (https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/about/strategic-implementation-plan/)

Session Description:

What do "The Avengers," improv comedy and a Hyperspectral Infrared Imager all have in common?


A new partnership to assist the science community to more effectively communicate their science.


NASA/JPL’s Innovation Foundry teamed up with a veteran of the entertainment community to 

develop techniques to help scientists think differently about how they communicate their science through storytelling.


StorytTelling consists of two parts.   


The Story focuses on creating science narratives that are “get-able”.   Avoiding things like jargon, the “curse of knowledge”, and complexity. 

And the Telling teaches improv skills to maximize the impact of presenting those stories to your audience.


This session will offer some applicable ways of how to do that.


Audience Interest:

Expressing a new idea is difficult. It is particularly so when your new idea is a complex scientific concept or finding. 

Adding to the challenge of clear communication is the diversity of target audiences.  These range from the 

interdisciplinary science community to key stakeholders with focused agendas to the broad public.


This interactive workshop will help participants think differently about how they communicate their science. 

Our session will demonstrate storytelling and presenting techniques to help you engage audiences so that your message lands more effectively.


The workshop will include interactive elements to provide attendees with practical, hands-on methods of how to apply best practices. This experiential approach facilitates the content to "sink in" and be applicable long after the workshop. 

The techniques will allow you to connect your science with your audience in ways that are compelling and "get-able” to a wide range of audiences.