Communicating one’s own research to other scientists and to the public constitutes an essential part of a researcher’s work. Apart from peer-reviewed papers and poster presentations, oral presentations in combination with visualisation programmes such as Microsoft PowerPoint or OpenOffice Impress have become standard for that purpose. So, everyone knows how to use PowerPoint, right? You probably also gave more talks in the past than you can even remember. But what really makes a presentation interesting to follow and keeps the audience from falling asleep in the cosiness of a warm lecture hall in the morning? And how on earth can you eventually overcome stage fright and inspire the listeners by presenting your data convincingly?
During last year’s presentation skills course by Dr Rick Scavetta (ScienceCraft), a group of IITB students had the chance to improve their skills. And to anticipate the outcome: It was a success for everyone. The two-day course started with an introduction into the use of body language and how to convert your results into a coherent story. Pinpointing the differences between figures used in a paper and a presentation by utilising the power of slide show presentation programmes was an eye-opener. In-class recordings sounded like torture to some of the participants at first, but in the end the recordings were a fantastic tool to illustrate strengths and weaknesses of the presenters, and they were an important means to minimise stage fright.
The fact that the Canadian instructor Dr Rick Scavetta is a biologist himself was extremely helpful, and the atmosphere was pleasant and constructive. Are you sad you missed this great opportunity? Well, there’s no need to: Mark September 24th and 25th this year in your calendar since this course is booked for us again. Don’t forget to apply, it is worth it!