Experimental Soft Matter Physics

Scientific Speaking (DS-TS-1521), fall semester 2015

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Have you ever experienced that you give a talk and nobody seems interested? Did you ever apply for a conference oral and just got a poster presentation? Did you ever have a manuscript rejected from a journal? Did you ever get a grant proposal rejected? You are not alone; indeed these are experiences all scientists go through. But you can reduce the risk of these undesired outcomes considerably by being aware of how to deliver a talk effectively for each type of audience, knowing how to write an abstract so it immediately grabs the attention and interest of the reader, knowing how to write an introduction so it makes the reader want to continue reading, knowing how to prepare visuals so they actually support a talk or a paper rather than create problems, and knowing how to structure and plan a project proposal so the reviewers are convinced of its necessity and feasibility. This course will give you the skills to avoid mistakes that are unnecessary, unfortunately quite common, and sometimes critical. The aim is to allow you to present your research results with a convincing, clear and appealing voice, whether in writing or in speaking.

Rough syllabus:
22.10.2015: Introduction and welcome, including short introductory talk by each student. How to prepare a talk strategically, from choice of content to slide design. How to deliver a talk well, from mastering your presentation tools (including those belonging to you, like your voice) to having contact with your audience. How to design a poster for efficient presentation, and then how to present it during a poster session.

04.11.2015: Conference talk training. How to give a scientific talk in an interview situation.

19.11.2015: Interview situation talk training. How to write a conference abstract.

Each course day will run from 9:30 to 17:00 and we will be in the Salle des Conseils in Kirchberg.

The slides shown in the class (only for participating students) can be downloaded here.