Professional Development Webinars

Professional Development Webinars provide exercises and tips for scientists to enhance their oral and poster presentation skills and effectively communicate their research in formal and informal settings.

Using Spoken English in Presentations

Avoid communication obstacles when discussing your scientific research by providing listeners with the specific sounds and cultural cues they need to follow your presentation. By learning a few simple techniques, speakers can easily incorporate these "unspoken rules" and improve their English in both formal and informal settings. This recorded webinar helps both lifelong and more recent English speakers to improve their professional communication, and includes exercises that anyone can begin using immediately. You will learn:

  • The most important words in English — and how to "stretch" them.
  • The two critical letters that English speakers are listening for.
  • How to use sentence length to clearly convey even the most complex ideas.
  • How to compose and deliver effective "elevator speeches," lab updates, and poster presentations.

Powerful Poster Sessions: Design and Presentation Plus Case Studies

Your poster presentation is an excellent opportunity to network with fellow researchers and share critical information. Learn how to design a poster that earns the attention your research deserves and helps you communicate with your colleagues clearly and effectively. Includes special case studies demonstrating how posters presented at the 2011 NIDA International Forum were developed.  You will learn to:

  • Select information that attracts viewers to your poster.
  • Organize the contents for maximum clarity.
  • Use text and illustrations to enhance your presentation.
  • Make professional connections at a poster session.

Click here for the same presentation, featuring a different case study.

Using Spoken English in Conversation

Avoid communication problems in informal conversations with professional colleagues or neighbors by learning the "unspoken rules" of English: simple techniques that incorporate helpful sounds and cultural cues into casual conversations. Both lifelong and more recent English speakers can improve their conversational clarity by using these simple exercises. You will learn to:

  • Find ideal sentence length and clarity.
  • Make every important word easy to understand.
  • Use "filler" words to engage your listeners.
  • Participate easily in any social conversation.
  • Meet cultural expectations during a conversation.

Scientifically Speaking: How to Prepare an Effective Talk

Presenting your work clearly and concisely is a vital professional skill. Learning how to describe complex processes and present data effectively within the limits of a brief presentation is a challenge—especially when adapting the talk to fit the knowledge base of each new audience. Join this webinar to learn the strategies and tools necessary to prepare a clear presentation on even the most complicated topic. You will learn to:

  • Prepare the presentation in less time—and with less stress.
  • Structure the talk (no matter how brief) for maximum clarity.
  • Select and use images effectively.
  • Engage any audience from the beginning of the talk.

Presenter: Barrett Whitener, M.F.A., M.A., IQ Solutions, Inc., Rockville, Maryland, USA

For more than 15 years, Mr. Whitener has trained professionals in science, health care, and public policy to become effective communicators. He has led workshops on presentation skills for postdoctoral fellows, senior researchers, and administrators throughout the National Institutes of Health and for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Cornell University, Gates Millennium Scholars, Compact for Faculty Diversity, Center for Strategic and International Studies, World Resources Institute, and many others. He is co-author of the book, Speaking About Science: A Manual for Creating Clear Presentations (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

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