If we want to proceed further we need to understand each other. To understand one another we definitely need to improve our communication, and surely enough to improve communication we need to train great speakers!
This is indeed true in all area of daily life but it is particularly important in science, where a major part of what we can achieve is based on the way we interact with other scientists.
Indelibly giving good talks is a prerequisite for any scientist. The better the talk you give the more invitation you’ll get, the higher the stand of your projects. Public speaking is HARD! The good news is, that there is a way to make it easier.The bad news is: there is only ONE way, and that is: practice, practice, practice!
In my opinion the difference between an interesting presentation, a good presentation and a great presentation, (independently on the results you are presenting) is that in the first case you get people listening because they are interested in what you are presenting, in the second case your audience begins reading email (at conferences) or thinking about something else after 10 minutes and in the third you get their complete awareness until the end. After 1 min talk the person should say “I want to hear more”, after 5 min “I want to read about your work”, after 15 min “I wish I was doing what you are doing”.
It did help me to study good speakers, what they do, why they are successful, look at their presentations (at conferences or videos) and try to reproduce them. TED is a very good platform if you are looking out for inspiration. As a suggestion I always tell my students, they should tell their audience a story: “He who owns the narrative rules the world” (D. Kruger)
I have been watching TED talks since a while now and I can define myself as “TED addicted”. TED speakers are among the best I have ever heard: not only I always learn something new but also I find many new strategies how to communicate effectively. Watching TED has become for me now an healthy habit.
The main challenge with habits is that they need to be trained.
Within the Irene Joliot-Curie Program we are beginning with it through a rather informal evening: we will watch together some of the best TED talk and take our time to discuss about them and bring home a couple of lessons on how to improve our own way of presenting our stories.
For this first TDD (TED-Driven-Dinner) I have chosen those ones, who have made me first realized how much I needed to improve my own storytelling. I will post the program on the weekend … if you want to hear sooner and more about it then join us on Thursday