Monthly Archive: December 2014

Dec 31

Not all advice is good advice!

A colleague recently posted a great article about the worst public speaking advice she’s ever received – things like picturing the audience naked, or staring at the foreheads of your audience members, rather than making eye contact. I think all of this bad advice applies to scientific talks as well-I sure don’t want to picture …

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Dec 27

Your core message – in 140 characters

If you read this blog, you know I’m all about face-to-face communication. But what if we want to reach a broader audience?  Social media sites give us the tools to reach people all over the world, to talk science, share our findings, and network with others that do (or think about) our area of research. …

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Dec 23

Killer Filler Words


By Janine Castro, Geomorphologist, USFWS & NMFS, Portland, Oregon so, um, ah, eh, I guess, nevertheless, inordinate, regardless, hopefully, essentially, actually, naturally, basically, what not, you know, if you will, well, clearly, in a manner of speaking, at this point, as a matter of fact, in terms of, like, interesting, really… (list kindly provided by …

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Dec 17

Tell me a story

By Janine Castro, Geomorphologist, USFWS & NMFS, Portland, Oregon Over the past few years, I have read many books on public speaking – some specifically for scientists, but most for a general audience. Each book has its own spin, but the basics remain the same: have a clear message, be prepared, minimize text on slides, …

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Dec 12

Catch their attention!


What’s the best way to peak audience interest before you open your mouth? A catchy title! The title should allow people to determine if they wish to attend your presentation at all, and it should do so with a bit of flair. One of my favorite options is to use a two-part title, where the …

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