Since I arrived at Minnesota, one of my main sideline gigs has been teaching workshops to graduate students on how to give a good scientific talk. I think this training, which we've offered in a 3-hr afternoon session or over seven weeks, has helped students get better prepared to face the challenge of a conference talk or dissertation defense. And I'm glad to have the chance to offer similar short courses at other schools in the US and Germany. Recently I spoke to Amy Aines, one of the authors of the upcoming book Championing Science about how scientists can make their professional presentations just a little bit better.
Amy had heard about me because of a presentation webinar I did a few years ago for IRIS (the D.C.-based Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology). And as it turns out, I was one of the reviewers for Championing Science, which is due to be published later this year by the University of California Press. I haven't yet seen a final copy of the book, but as I wrote in my review of the full manuscript, I think it will be a great resource fo scientists no matter their field:
If more people in my field read this book and adopted at least of few of its guidelines, I’m sure that conferences would be more enjoyable, talks would be more useful, and we’d be at least bit more effective at sharing our insights with others.
So I was glad to have the chance to meet Amy (over Skype, at least) and share what we've been doing at Minnesota to try to avoid 'Death By PowerPoint' in the classroom or the conference hall.
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