If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Similarly, if scientific findings are not communicated well, do they make an impact? The most innovative research in the world will struggle to gain attention if it isn’t accurately ―and engagingly ― presented to its audience.
Scientific presentations are vital to the advancement of important ideas, and a crucial skill for researchers as they pursue their career goals.
The power of presentation
We all know what an uninspired presentation is like: dull, monotonous and often too long. An exceptional presentation is the opposite: energetic, engaging and vigorously paced.
The differences matter because the stakes are real.
Presentations help researchers increase the visibility of their work both within and beyond their field. They can play a decisive role in the job interview and grant application process, and help advance the discourse around important scientific ideas and concepts.
Researchers will boost their career trajectory in a variety of ways if they can synthesize sound research and clear conclusions into a compelling presentation. That’s easier said than done, and the ability to design, prepare and deliver a dynamic talk can elude even those who are comfortable in the spotlight.
For less experienced researchers developing an engaging research story, designing a slide deck and executing a high-quality presentation can be an even greater challenge, and one that has been hard to find adequate training in.
Additionally, COVID-19 forced numerous face-to-face events online, many of which will likely retain a virtual component, meaning researchers must be adept at showcasing their work both in-person and virtually.
Improving a skill that matters to researchers
Nobody understands the need for well-developed presentation skills better than researchers themselves.
According to a global survey conducted by Nature Masterclasses, 95% (total n = 344) of researchers indicated that communicating to the academic community is an important skill to being a successful researcher, while 81% claim to struggle with that skill and would benefit from more training.*
Alarmingly, only 27% (total n = 456) indicated they were satisfied with training resources they had access to.
The urgency of need and lack of effective options has inspired the development of an exciting new resource now available for researchers around the world.
A fresh take on a topic of need
Advancing Your Scientific Presentations, now available on the Nature Masterclasses platform, aims to improve the quality of researcher’s scientific presentations to both in-person and virtual audiences.
Built on a foundation of data-driven analysis, expert participation and iterative testing, this course helps researchers in the natural sciences hone their peer-to-peer presentation skills no matter what career phase they are in.
Skill training for researchers of every level
This course will teach researchers to:
- Identify techniques that can help to overcome the challenges that researchers commonly experience when delivering oral presentations
- Learn how to build compelling research stories to use as the foundation for your presentations
- Learn how to create professional slide decks that effectively communicate research findings to your audience
- Learn how to apply strategies to help you deliver your presentation effectively on the day, in both virtual and face-to-face environments
One of the biggest challenges to executing a top-notch lecture is harnessing the narrative power of the research. That requires the confidence ―and know-how― to find a fitting key message for the particular audience and the right blend of content, structure, characters and story that will help the presentation jump off the stage and screen.
Spotlighting the importance of storytelling technique is one of the unique components that distinguishes this course. By combining foundational concepts with narrative technique, all researchers stand to benefit.
Younger, less experienced researchers will become familiar with the core principles of how to craft and deliver a high-impact talk. More seasoned researchers can perfect their presentation skills by applying storytelling strategies to their existing skill set.
Crafted for researchers by experts
Advancing Scientific Presentations was designed with meticulous care by Nature Masterclasses' proven team of science and editorial professionals. The content was designed in full collaboration with experts in the fields of public speaking and scientific presentation and narrative tools, and tested vigorously through every stage of course development.
Key features include:
- Insight and instruction from a panel of 10 experts experienced in presentation design and delivery, narrative tools and more
- 4-module course with a course certificate
- 7-8 hours of total learning
- English language subtitles and transcripts
Each stage of course design, from choosing the topic to developing the course outline and crafting the written and video content, is data-driven and iterative, meaning it’s continually user- and expert-tested to ensure it meets the needs of researchers and maintains a demanding standard of quality.
The course features over 7 hours of learning via 26 lessons organized into 4 modules.
The modules are:
- Overcoming your research presentation challenges
- Developing the story behind your talk
- Building an engaging slide deck
- Preparing and navigating your talk
Every lesson is content-rich and can be studied in sequence or in whatever order best suits the learning needs of the researcher. The course is supported by the powerful Nature Masterclasses online platform, which provides full control to busy researchers who crave training but have limited time in their schedule.
The benefits of Nature Masterclasses online courses
The platform provides researchers with:
- Bite-size learning in the form of 15-minute, information-rich lessons that convey maximum information in concentrated time
- On-demand access to lessons, videos and online activities designed to meet researcher’s needs and schedules
- Course material organized into targeted modules that divide each topic into clear, manageable sections
- Varied multimedia formats, including interactive exercises
- Asynchronous delivery, which makes course material accessible anytime and anywhere
- Progress status that can be saved for self-paced learning
- English language subtitles and transcripts
- Subscription options that give institutions full access to the entire catalogue of online trainings, plus access to future courses
These features give researchers total control over their learning environment, making skill-building possible while meeting the demands of their day-to-day work.
A compelling presentation requires narrative skills, combined with the know-how to craft a visually engaging slide deck and the confidence to deliver it both face-to-face and virtually.
Engage your audience and elevate your work
Nature Masterclasses’ Advancing Your Scientific Presentations offers a unique approach to a high-demand skill, and combines it with the power and flexibility of the Nature Masterclasses online platform.
The result is a training resource that meets the tailored needs of researchers today, with a curriculum and learning environment designed to amplify their career success. Researchers who can communicate their findings via oral and online presentations ― and do it well ― open new pathways for their research to make an impact and be recognized.
Give your research a boost by investing in skills that will help it stand out from the crowded field.
*Publisher data: Nature Masterclasses Global Survey 2020