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Can (and should) scientists become great presenters?

September 11, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations  

“When people like you [scientists & PhD students] talk about their research, half of the time even your peers don’t understand what the hell you are talking about, and when they do understand they find it boring. That’s the sad truth.” – Dr. Jean-luc Doumont From Presentation Zen blog by Garr Reynolds, forwarded to me […]

Junk the Jargon Interview on Public Engagement

June 14, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri, Presentations, Uncategorized  

An oldie, but goodie. Here is an interview (Junkcast) I did for the University of Manchester Junk the Jargon competition. I talk about my own experiences good and bad with public engagement, tips for connecting with the audience, and the origins of Eloquent Science.

A proposal for determining session chairs

May 29, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations  

Are you organizing a meeting? Here is a proposal that you might try to keep your meeting running smoothly. I got the idea from a brain teaser in a book that I read when I was a kid. The story goes like this. You are wanting to buy the slowest boat, so you place an […]

More thoughts about scientific poster presentations

May 16, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations, Resources  

As our academic year comes to an end and our undergraduate and masters students are busy preparing scientific posters of their dissertation research, I am reminded of why I dread having to grade these posters every year. Students usually just dump their manuscript into a poster template and then trim it down until it fits. […]

Let there be stoning!

May 8, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations, Resources  

Thanks to Bogdan Antonescu for pointing out to me the latest entry in Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen blog. It discusses an article “Let there be stoning!” written by Jay Lehr about bringing an end to incredibly boring speakers. If only more speakers would follow this advice: The average conference paper is 20 minutes in length. […]

Booed for Keeping Speakers on Time

February 3, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations  

I was session chair at a recent meeting. The meeting was running behind, and they crammed a speaker from the morning session into mine, effectively taking away my 15 minutes of free discussion time at the end. Each slot was 20 minutes long, which as most experienced speakers would infer means that you get 15 […]

Review of Explaining Research by Dennis Meredith

January 16, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations, Resources  

I love to read books, journal articles, and magazines. During the academic semester, I have almost no time to read. I try to catch up during the summers and the Christmas break. This break was no exception, and I got to wrap my fingers around Dennis Meredith’s Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to […]

Have you heard the one about PowerPoint?

September 26, 2012   Filed under Blog, Featured, Humor, Presentations  

A word about PowerPoint. PowerPoint was released by Microsoft in 1990 as a way to euthanize cattle using a method less cruel than hitting them over the head with iron mallets. After PETA successfully argued in court that PowerPoint actually was more cruel than iron mallets, the program was adopted by corporations for slide show […]

Monkey See, Monkey Do

December 19, 2011   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations  

In writing my book and questioning the “standard” approach that people have used to give scientific presentations, I have often wondered if people stick to convention because that’s all they’ve seen. They see an outline slide or a meaningless “thank you!” slide and think, “Yeah, that’s the way to do it right.” The question is […]

Finding common ground with climate-change contrarians

July 18, 2011   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations  

This article by Prof. Scott Denning from Colorado State University was published in the UCAR Magazine. He offers three pieces of wisdom for interacting with audiences who may be hostile. 1. Begin from common ground. 2. Engage the audience on a human level. 3. Emphasize the basics. Denning argues that our inability to interact with […]

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