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“Work out what made you connect with the

last presentation that impressed you and learn how

you can empathise better with your audience.”

Jenn Chubb, University of York, UK

“Engage without prejudice: find what you have in common to break down barriers when your values differ.”

Chris Cvitanovic, University of Tasmania, Australia

“Engage without prejudice: find what you have in common to break down barriers when your values differ.”

Chris Cvitanovic, University of Tasmania, Australia

“To combat nerves, imagine that you are a host rather than a presenter. Your job is to take good care of your guests, put them at ease,

make them feel welcome and give them what they need.”

Deborah Mullins, Deborah Mullins Training Ltd, UK

“The continuous feedback you need for a top-notch presentation is found in the eyes of your audience. Make sure you have eye contact,

and be prepared to act on the response you get.”

 Olle Bergman, Coach, Sweden

“Before you start speaking, look around your audience and smile. Show them you are relaxed and they will relax.”

Henry Leveson-Gower, New Economic Knowledge Services, UK

“Stand by the door as the delegates walk in and shake hands with them all. They won't feel intimidated by you, and you can tell yourself you're speaking

to people that you’ve already met.”

Mark Wilson, Balsan Carpets, UK

“Only using images forces you to commit a much simpler story-line to memory, and ultimately makes for a more enjoyable presentation.”

Prue Addison, University of Oxford, UK

“Think constantly about the kind of impact you want to make with whom, how, where, when and why, and skip the academic jargon and academitis.”

Linda Baines, Independent post-doc, UK


“I was once told by a colleague that they missed my 'stand-up presentation style'. I'm taking it as a compliment: be enthusiastic!”

Jenn Chubb, University of York, UK

“It was the biggest talk of my career and I was really nervous. I had my talk written out on pieces of card, which (sadly) I did not number. It was in the days of overhead projectors, and when I got up on stage, I placed my cards on the table next to the projector, and the projector fan blew them up into the air like confetti.”

Klaus Hubacek, University of Maryland, USA

“Grandiose title WILL lure people to your session but result in heckling.”

Michelle Bowman, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada

“We tried to do a 'speed science' public engagement activity in a pub and the punters who thought it was going to be 'speed dating'

were a bit disappointed when a bunch of academics rocked up talking about their research.”

Lizzie Tait, Robert Gordons University, UK

“My favourite feedback was 'I loved breaking the ice with your balls' after an icebreaker where we tossed balls.”

Andrew Scott, Andrew Scott Training, UK

“My biggest fail was when Mt Etna erupted 30 mins before my first ever international science presentation (in Taormina, Sicily). I was nervous anyway and couldn’t compete with an erupting volcano!

Martha Clokie

“Whilst extolling virtues of our new IT to an audience of applicants, the screen flickered and failed. Always check your equipment.”

Andrew Thomas, University of Aberystwyth, UK

“Don’t try to make a joke unless you are confident you know what the punchline is.  I stumbled while pointing out the irony of hosting the Horticulture and Potato Initiative (whose acronym is HAPI) on Blue Monday (the third Monday in January, reported to be the most depressing day of the year), to deathly silence.”

Faith Smith, University of Auckland, New Zealand

“Be early. I was delayed once and ran into the conference just as I was being introduced to the crowd. Adrenaline pumping, all my prep went out the window and I rattled off a 10 minute presentation in 5 minutes to an amused crowd. The irony was that the talk was about nature’s ability to reduce mental stress.”

James Byrne, Wildlife Trusts Wales, UK

“I often say to my audience that I'll use hyperbole to get key messages across in a short space of time. The occasional big fail happens when they don't hear the disclaimer.”

Paul Cairney, Professor of Politics and Public Policy, University of Stirling, UK

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