Testimonials about Communicating Science Workshops
- "Although improv seems like a far step away from science, this workshop definitely showed me that to effectively communicate research in an entertaining way, we need to pull from the arts more. I most enjoyed having a safe and welcoming space to practice getting more comfortable speaking in front of an audience. I feel like the exercises in changing my mood before a talk or performance will be most useful in the future. "
- Anahita Zare (Graduate Student; Chemistry)
- "Scientists are becoming increasingly aware of their need to communicate their research, primarily the utility of their work and the justification for it's funding, to a variety of audiences. However, the art of communicating science in an understandable and engaging fashion is difficult. This workshop provided us with a set of tools for preparing for such presentations, as well as a way to engage with our audience in a meaningful manner. I found two of the exercises most helpful for my own communication endeavors. The first was two different methods for getting into character and assessing how our character was perceived by the audience. For me, I often get nervous in front of large audiences and since the only thing I think about is how nervous I am, by the time I start speaking, my body language is portraying something far different than I want. By utilizing theatre techniques presented during this workshop, I can be more in control of the way I am perceived by my audience. The second thing I found helpful was the idea of speaking with a verb in mind. This gave direction and purpose to my talk and really changed not only what I said, but how I said it. I also found that some unexpected verbs could be very effective. At any stage of ones scientific career, this sort of training can enhance the speakers engagement, comfort, and effectiveness in front of an audience."
- Kim Jasmer (Graduate Student, Biological Sciences)
- "Theatre training allows you to put on an effective performance. To decide what you want to communicate to the audience. This is the same as scientific presentations and communication. You want to communicate certain information. Applying theatre techniques to this type of presentation allows for better control over the message you are sending your audience. The two are very similar and there is a lack of effective preparation techniques for scientific talks. Theatre techniques directly apply and are well studied and well used.
"The training changed my perspective on scientific communication. It allowed me to feel that I have more control over the presentation in order to more effectively relay my information to my audience."
- Sarah Smith (Graduate Student; Bioengineering)