- The rhetorical dimension. A scientist’s elevator speech in 45 seconds: E.O. Wilson (pdf) – Handout with a series of tasks, built around the great post by Denise Graveline. For audio, see podcast clip.
- Elevator speech basics “Tell Me a Little About Yourself…” (pdf) – Handout with a task, taken practically verbatim from the John A. Hartford Foundation’s website Bandwidth
- Elevator speeches, step by step (pdf) – Presentation
The above links are pdfs of my presentation and handouts from the workshop I gave at the Uni Potsdam Graduiertenkolleg Geowissenschaften yesterday and today.
This is an extremely interesting challenge for me, as these scientists are more advanced presenters than the undergraduate students I’ve normally taught, and not as versed in the world of marketing as my business clients. As a group, they give a series of short 2-minute presentations as an invitation to later visit their science posters in the exhibit area. Key issues are how to make their points memorable, and their listeners hungry for more. This opens up a huge area for micro-storytelling (adding the personal dimension), but also for memorable catchphrases that stay safely this side of rhetoric. Work in progress, I’m looking forward to the rest of the workshop.
Susanne Frölich-Steffen (her website), a scientist now working as a communcation skills trainer in the academic world (primarily in Munich and Bavaria) gave me wonderful tips. I’m hoping we can work together in the future.
- Michael Alley: The craft of scientific presentations. Critical steps to succeed and critical errors to avoid. Springer NY 2003 ISBN-0-387-95555-0
– Book homepage
- Nancy Duarte: Slide:ology. The art and science of creating great presentations. O’Reilly 2008 ISBN-13:978-0-596-52234-6
– Nancy Duarte’s blog