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Keywords:

  • research talk;
  • seminar;
  • career development;
  • public speaking

Abstract

For many scientists, their working life can be charted as a series of talks: lab meetings, journal clubs, research seminars, and job talks. Based on the sheer volume of attended and given talks, one might think that nearly any scientist should be an expert speaker. As we are all painfully aware, that's not so. Giving an effective talk is a learned skill, built largely on preparation and practice. Presented here are tips from five panelists, each known for their informative, well-organized, and engaging style: Nicole King, PhD, Michael Levine, PhD, Susan McConnell, PhD, Denise Montell, PhD, and Sean Morrison, PhD. While their advice focuses on improving research seminars (departmental seminars, society meetings, and public lectures), they also offer many helpful tips for enhancing general public speaking skills. Developmental Dynamics 239:3492–3496, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.