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To communicate science
§ Orally present your research and
adjust to different audiences
§ Reflect on presentation skills and
ability to adjust to different audiences
§ Wakefield scandal (Moore, 2006)
§ The “Werther” effect
(Niederkrotenthaler et al 2006)
§ Reporting on suicide
§ Post Truth: The Trump effect
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Milestones during the course
§ Video recorded 4-5 minute
presentation for general public
§ Literature seminar
§ Media facilitated 4-5 minute
§ Infograph presentation (with poster)
§ Individual reflective statement (with
§ Now organize in groups.
§ 2 groups
§ Introduce yourselves, name,
department, one thing you would like
to share about yourself
§ Each person will introduce someone
else to the whole class. Make sure
you don’t say ehh, or mmmmmm
§ Make sure you know what you want to
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Do’s and dont’s
Think about a lecturer/presentation you have seen in action.
Present one/a few things you thought were good
Present one/a few things you thought were less good
What did s/he do?
Create two lists– do’s and dont’s
What should one do as a presenter?
What should one avoid?
List the three most important points in each
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How would you target these
audiences with your project?
Write down a killer opening
statement for each audience:
§ Basic researchers
§ Patient organisations
§ Your grandmother
Adapt your message to the audience
(discuss two and two, 5 minutes)
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§To communicate a
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Common Communication myths
§ Good communication has taken place
§ More communication is better
§ Communication ability is innate
§ To communicate a hidden problem exacerbates the problem
§ The message sent is the message received
§ Intellectual intelligence is the same as good communication
§ Communication is unidirectional
§ Learning communication theory makes you a better communicator
§ Communication solves everything
§ Effective communication is about presenting the blunt truth
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How do I get/compete with the audience’s thoughts?
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You need to be more interesting than the audiences’
§ What am I going to make for dinner?
§ What time do I have practice this afternoon?
§ I wonder what’s bothering my boyfriend/girlfriend?
Attention curve (Bligh 1971)
Start End20-30 min
Where to introduce extra
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Effect of rest or change in activity on learning (Biggs, 2003 from Bligh 1971)
Start End Lecture
Our sensory system adapts to the
humming of the air-conditioner
when it is consistent.
We notice the changes
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What hinders understanding?
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§Too much information makes understanding
§Cognitive load (Sweller, Merrienboer 2009)
§ Our working memory is limited, overloading impairs understanding
§ Allow time to process new terminology, new concepts and complexity
§ Reduce extraneous load: make it easy for your audience to get and interpret the
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of cognitive capacity
• Multi modal information encodes more information/time
and we remember the content better
• Dual coding theory. Visual and verbal channels, where
information are processed in different processes. (Paivio)
• Which sense (channel) is dominant for our perceptions?
ØUse both images and speech in conjunction and
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Chunking enhances memory of information
§ 524836107371213662 § 524 836 120 737 12 13 66
§ 5 2 4 8 3 6 1 2 0 7 3 7 1 2 1 3
§ G.A. Miller (1956) found the
optimal number of chunks to
be 7 when processing
§ ”The Magical Number Seven, Plus
or Minus Two”
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§ Given that we have a limited ability to retain
information, and then what is your stance on
esoteric jargon in your subjects.
§ Let’s play jeopardy:
§ This is an unobserved exposure associated with the
exposure of interest and is a potential cause of the
outcome of interest. This lead to bias that distorts the
magnitude of the relationship between two factors of
§ Suggested by Thomas Kuhn, this is a scientific
revolution and completely changes the way in which
science looks at the world.
§ The theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its
methods, validity, and scope, and the distinction
between justified belief and opinion
§ Relating to or denoting the side of the body opposite to
that on which a particular structure or condition occurs.
§ What is a confounder
§ What is a paradigm shift
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What reaches the consciuos level?
§ We perceive 11 million information bits/second from our senses
§ Only 40 information bits reach the conscious level
§ The conscious experience is delayed with half a second
§ Perceptions reach Cortex after 10-20msek
§ Consciuos experience after 0.5 second
§ The report suggests the average American consumes 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words of
information in a single day. (Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” is only 460,000 words long.) This doesn’t
mean we read 100,000 words a day — it means that 100,000 words cross our eyes and ears in a
single 24-hour period. That information comes through various channels, including the television,
radio, the Web, text messages and video games.
• (NYT. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, 2009)
§ Help your audience to sort out impressions to get the core of your message
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§Biological limitations are nessesary to consider, but
not sufficient to ensure understanding and
§How do you facilitate meaning making?
§ Relate to previous experience
§ Relate to our needs
§ Who’s your audience?
§ Why should your audience care?
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§ Relate to previous knowledge
§ Fill in the gaps
§ Disregard information that is
perceived as redundant
We want to understand and make sense of the world!
This is an old house! Don’t flush tampons
down the toilet.
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I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht
I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the
hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde
Uinervtisy, it dseno't mttaer in waht oderr the lterets
in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit
and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a
taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm.
Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey
ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig,
huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was
ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.
How do we focus our audience’s attention?
Selective Attention Awareness
(Simon & Chabris, 1999)
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Set the context for interpretation
§ Our expectations or model of the world determines what we see
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The curse of knowledge
§ Your everyday knowledge of your topic and scientific field is acquired since many
years. Eventually it becomes transparent to ourselves
§ What does it take for your audience to understand your message?
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Can your listener guess the song?
§ Think of a well known song
§ Tap the melody with your finger while someone is listening
§ What are the chances of a correct answer from the listener?
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What’s in your mind doesn’t automatically
transfer to the audience
§ Elisabeth Newton had subjects tap
out the melodies of a familiar song
with their finger and predict what
fraction of those songs will be
recognized by a listener.
§ “Tappers” estimation was that 50%
would be recognized
§ the result was 3% recognized songs.
Tappers estimation and listeners correct
Ref: L. Newton, “Overconfidence in the Communication of Intent: Heard and Unheard Melodies,”
Ph.D. dissertation, (Stanford University, 1990)
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§What is the most important things you picked up so
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• Communication, perception and limitations in understanding
• Good communication takes place when the presenter’s intended
message has been internalised by the listener
• Too much information, inhibits learning and understanding
• Too much one-way talking could be taxing for the audience
• Esoteric Jargon complicates things
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• What is the basic information you wish to convey?
• What is the right amount of information?
• Be specific, share with your partner!
• Critique each other
Make sure that you are!
§ Correct (Truthful)
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