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Boosting the Signal: Simple Strategies to Deliver Better Scientific Talks

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BOOSTING THE SIGNAL
simple strategies to deliver better scientific talks
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife | Michigan S...

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CONFUSING
BORING
OVERSTUFFED

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THE CULTUREOF
CRUMMY
SCIENCE
TALKS
“ ”
Dr. Kelly Hereid
Chubb Corporate Catastrophe Solutions

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Boosting the Signal: Simple Strategies to Deliver Better Scientific Talks

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A good talk can open the doors to new collaborations, increase your chances of funding success, and make it more likely other people will respond to your ideas. But scientific presentations are too often confusing, boring, and overstuffed. Here are some suggestions, based on our experience as speakers, audience members, and presentation trainers, that we hope will make your next conference talk or seminar more enjoyable, engaging and effective.

A good talk can open the doors to new collaborations, increase your chances of funding success, and make it more likely other people will respond to your ideas. But scientific presentations are too often confusing, boring, and overstuffed. Here are some suggestions, based on our experience as speakers, audience members, and presentation trainers, that we hope will make your next conference talk or seminar more enjoyable, engaging and effective.

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Boosting the Signal: Simple Strategies to Deliver Better Scientific Talks

  1. 1. BOOSTING THE SIGNAL simple strategies to deliver better scientific talks Department of Fisheries and Wildlife | Michigan State University | January 13, 2021
  2. 2. CONFUSING BORING OVERSTUFFED
  3. 3. THE CULTUREOF CRUMMY SCIENCE TALKS “ ” Dr. Kelly Hereid Chubb Corporate Catastrophe Solutions
  4. 4. A few modest adjustments to the planning and delivery of talks can help us share ideas with our peers more effectively.
  5. 5. GEOG1403 | BIOGEOGRAPHY OF THE GLOBAL GARDEN
  6. 6. EVERYONE LEARNS HOW TO DO RESEARCH IN GRADUATE SCHOOL BUT NOT EVERYONE LEARNS HOW TO GIVE A GOOD TALK. “ ” Dr. Andy Frasse o Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
  7. 7. GEOG8260 | THE ART OF SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATIONS
  8. 8. 15
  9. 9. Source: Robert Rinyu
  10. 10. READ THE ROOM
  11. 11. … DESIGNING A PRESENTATION WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE IN MIND IS LIKE WRITING A LOVE LETTER AND ADDRESSING IT ‘TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN’. “ ” Ken Haemer Manager, Presentation Research, AT&T
  12. 12. SPECIALIST CONFERENCE
  13. 13. COMMUNITY MEETING
  14. 14. TECHNICAL WORKSHOP
  15. 15. WHAT’S THE SETTING OF YOUR PRESENTATION? WHAT DO THEY ALREADY KNOW ABOUT YOUR TOPIC? WHAT SOURCES DO THEY GET THEIR INFORMATION FROM? WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO THEM? WHAT KEEPS THEM AWAKE AT NIGHT? WHAT PRECONCEPTIONS WILL YOU NEED TO WORK AGAINST?
  16. 16. BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR MAIN MESSAGE
  17. 17. GEOG8260 | THE ART OF SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATIONS
  18. 18. FIVEminutes
  19. 19. ONEidea
  20. 20. THIS SUMMARY CONTAINS A PARAGRAPH (2-3 SENTENCES) OF BASIC-LEVEL INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD; A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE OF THE WORK; A STATEMENT OF THE MAIN CONCLUSIONS (INTRODUCED BY THE PHRASE 'HERE WE SHOW' OR ITS EQUIVALENT); AND FINALLY, 2-3 SENTENCES PUTTING THE MAIN FINDINGS INTO GENERAL CONTEXT SO IT IS CLEAR HOW THE RESULTS DESCRIBED IN THE PAPER HAVE MOVED THE FIELD FORWARDS.
  21. 21. RINGING TRUE the scientific & societal relevance of dendrochronology at the start of its second century Department of Geography University of Nevada, Reno December 2, 2020
  22. 22. TREE RINGS + OTHER NATURAL ARCHIVES EMPOWER US TO EXTEND OUR PERSPECTIVE ON ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE, RESOURCES, AND HAZARDS.
  23. 23. CLASSROOM RESEARCH SUGGESTS SPEAKERS CAN HOLD AN AUDIENCE’S ATTENTION FOR — AT MOST — TEN MINUTES.
  24. 24. IN ROCK MUSIC YOU HAVE TO BURN FROM THE FIRST BAR. “ ” Sting, English Pop Star
  25. 25. MAKE A PLAN
  26. 26. PRESENT GENEROUSLY
  27. 27. ?What is the average reading speed for a literate adult (words per minute?)
  28. 28. 250WORDS PER MINUTE Source: Forbes Magazine, June 4, 2012
  29. 29. ?What is the average reading speed for a college student (words per minute?)
  30. 30. 450WORDS PER MINUTE Source: Forbes Magazine, June 4, 2012
  31. 31. Concluding Remarks •Absent rings were uncommon during the growing seasons that followed major volcanic eruptions, including A.D. 1259 and 1816. • Because these features have occurred so rarely in high-latitude and high- elevation tree ring-width records, the hypothesis that the Northern Hemisphere tree ring-width network is compromised by dating errors due to unrecognized absent rings would require that many temperature-limited forest stands in the network exhibited a reaction to cold temperatures that have essen- tially never been observed anywhere. •If however absent-ring formation were to increase in forests outside of the American Southwest, that behavior would represent an unprecedented response to environmental stress.
  32. 32. Source: Amy Luxbacher
  33. 33. I KNOWYOU CAN’T SEE THIS, BUT... “ ”
  34. 34. American Association for the Advancement of Science Chicago, Illinois February 15, 2014
  35. 35. Source: St. George et al., Geophysical Research Le ers (2013)
  36. 36. Source: St. George and Wolfe, Geophysical Research Le ers (2009) EL NIÑO AND NEAR-SURFACE WINDS
  37. 37. Source: St. George and Wolfe, Geophysical Research Le ers (2009) EL NIÑO CAUSES NEAR-SURFACE WINDS IN WINTER TO SLOW DOWN BY 20 PERCENT.
  38. 38. Source: Flickr user “Mike”
  39. 39. YOUR BRAIN SOMEONE ELSE’S BRAIN
  40. 40. Jean-luc Doumont Trees, maps, and theorems
  41. 41. SCIENTISTS CANNOT COMMUNICATE VERY WELL WITH NON-SCIENTISTS, BUT IN FACT THEY CANNOT COMMUNICATE WELL WITH OTHER SCIENTISTS EITHER. “ ” Jean-luc Doumont Principiae
  42. 42. READ THE ROOM BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR MAIN MESSAGE MAKE A PLAN PRESENT GENEROUSLY THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO MAKE YOUR RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS JUST A LITTLE BIT BETTER
  43. 43. twi er.com/sco stgeorge

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