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Presenting Science

Core Skills For Scientists 
Presenting Science

Two and a half days

Number of participants
12 exactly

Class prerequisite
One 6-8 slide Powerpoint or Keynote presentation corresponding to a trimmed down version of an accepted conference paper

Equipment and facilities
If the training facility does not have a computer lab, each participant is required to bring his own notebook to the course. This class requires access to an auditorium, amphitheatre, lecture hall or other large room equipped with a PC connected to a projector, as well as a wireless speaker microphone (preferably a lapel mike).

Your trainer
Jean-Luc Lebrun has managed research programs while working at Apple Computer in its Advanced Technology Research group for over ten years. He subsequently invested his energy in the commercialization of research. He teaches scientific presentation skills at the following A-Star* research Institutes: BII, BSF, BTI, CMM, DSI, GIS, I2R, IBN, ICES, IHPC, IMB, IME, IMRE, NMC, SBIC, SIMTECH, SISC, and SSCC. He also provided this course at SMU (Singapore Management University), NUHS (National University Health Sciences), and at medical research Institutes within SGH (Singapore General Hospital). He also conducts this seminar abroad in Europe.

*Agency for Science, TechnologyAnd Research. Singapore


Course Synopsis
Participants discover that the oral paper is not a “cut & paste” transform of the written paper. They also understand how little written text matters compared to who they are, what they say, and how they visually support their presentation. The course tackles the three greatest obstacles a presenting scientist faces: fear, an over-technical text-heavy presentation, and a less-knowledgeable-than-expected audience. Through systematically rooting out what lessens presentation impact, and preparing a live delivery, the presenting scientist acquires confidence in himself, fluidity in speech, and authority when handling questions. The course is based on the book “When the Scientist Presents” (World Scientific Publishing). It is given to each participant.

Career opportunities
Good presentation skills speed up career promotion decisions for two reasons: 
1) Presenting takes a larger part of a scientist’s time as he or she moves up the research ladder. 
2) Presenting is key to getting funding and project support. A scientist that garners support is often put “on the fast career track.”

Target participants
The course is designed for research managers, researchers and postgraduates who deliver presentations in the course of their work to convince, motivate, inform, seek collaboration, or secure financial support.

Course structure
Module 1: Meeting both audience expectations and presentation goals. Slide redesign.
Module 2: Delivering the elevator pitch to a decision maker
Module 3: Delivering in front of audience and camera
Module 4: Facing the questions: preparing the Q&A session, listening to, evaluating the relevance of, and answering common  scientific questions.

Mode of assessment
Live skill assessment for each participant based on a two minute elevator pitch without slide support, a seven minute presentation of their paper with slide support, and a tough seven minute Q&A session. The written assessment covers the following aspects: host qualities, fluidity, coherence, appeal, scientific content, readability of slides, intelligibility of speech, scientific impact, and question handling. The Q&A and the oral presentation are recorded on DVD and given to the presenter responsible for that part of the talk.