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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
This is one of the most hilarious movies I’ve seen about how science works (or doesn’t work, as the case may be). Although it is a discussion between two physicists, you can imagine your favorite subdisciplines in your own field interacting this way.
From the Huffington Post: Guerrilla improv troupe Improv Everywhere struck again last month at GEL Conference, the annual gathering of tech/social media/business voices in New York City. With the help of GEL founder Mark Hurst, the covert entertainers pulled off one of their signature “Spontaneous Musicals” at the top of Hurst’s presentation. Just as he […]
If you regularly attend discussions in the weather-map room, subscribe to weather or storm-chaser discussion lists, or have reviewed articles for Weather, Monthly Weather Review, National Weather Digest, or Weather and Forecasting, then you have been exposed to it. Map-room jargon. Often the speakers of map-room jargon don’t even know what they are doing. (I […]
For people with little experience in giving public talks, I recommend two things. First, practice, practice, practice. The more you rehearse your talk, the more confident you will be and the more likely you will give a good presentation. How many times is enough? That depends, but if you are giving your first conference-style presentation […]
I’ve appeared in the University of Manchester Junk the Jargon Podcast (Junkcast). You can listen or read the transcript here. In this Junkcast, I talk about how to engage an audience, giving some examples from my and others’ presentations.
The journal Nature has on its Scitable page a link to an online book English Communication for Scientists by Dr. Jean-luc Doumont (that’s him on the right). I haven’t read through it all, but it seems to have mostly good advice, albeit a bit short. The online book has six units: Communicating as a Scientist […]