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Engage, Inform, Inspire: Bringing Your Presentation Skills to the Next Level (418)


19 and 26 April 2021

Lang EN Workshop language is English

Hedwig Ens ; Dr Samuel Lagier


This 2-day intensive workshop will help participants to improve their presentation skills for application beyond the group-meeting setting. While certainly valuable to future academics, this workshop is especially valuable to individuals who plan to break out of the typical academic path (future entrepreneurs, future business leaders, science communicators), where excellent communication skills can make - or break - a career.

The workshop will begin with each participant giving a brief 5-minute conference-style presentation of their work. This will be the example talk that each student will use to apply his or her new skills throughout the course. We will identify each participant's points of difficulty, and together, we will push past them, through interactive group- and individual-exercises where the participant will receive ample feedback both from the instructor and from other participants.

The first day will focus on presentation design: different styles of story-arcs, structure, depth, and visualisations, specifically with a focus on presenting and discussing scientific data. During the intervening week between the two days of the workshop, participants will continue to develop their model talk based on what they've learned the first day.

The second day of the workshop will focus on the performance and practice of the talk. How to hook and keep the audience? How to be engaging in both voice and body language? Participants will learn to use specific verbal devices to communicate clearly in a memorable way. The specificities of online and in-person presentations will be discussed. The workshop will close with each participant presenting his or her talk in its new form.


Learning outcomes:

The doctoral candidate will have developed his or her public speaking and scientific storytelling skills by preparing one excellent model talk on his/her research. In the process, he/she will also have garnered skills for creating and delivering impressive future presentations, namely:

  • innovative ways to explain complex data
  • different ways to structure presentations
  • knowledge of his/her own performance tics and how to push past them
  • how to physically, verbally, and vocally command the attention of one's audience and make a lasting positive impression.


Pedagogical methods

The workshop will be very interactive. Students should wear comfortable clothes that they can move in and they should bring their laptops, or a thumb-drive and a notebook and pen.

Participants' talks will be filmed and each person can take home his or her talk at the end of each day for future study.



Participants should be comfortable and able to express themselves in English (level B2/C1), and they should also be moderately experienced in giving presentations (lab meetings, departmental meetings, etc.).


Intended Audience

This workshop is beneficial to all doctoral candidates who have a story to tell.




Date: Mondays 19th and 26th April 2021

Schedule: 9 am to 5.30 pm

Location: Online



Hedwig Ens is a firm believer of making science open and accessible for all through the power of stories. She briefly worked as an evolutionary ecologist before she realized she'd rather spread existing science stories than help discovering new ones. This led her into an exploration of the different media she can utilize for it: classic storytelling, writing, and improvisation theater. Hedwig currently works at Frontiers for Young Minds: a non-profit open access journal with science for kids, edited by kids.

Dr Samuel Lagier is a multi-talented scientist and improviser. He founded and runs whose goal is to help researchers talk about their expertise. He curated, coached for and hosted the TEDxLausanne conference for 6 years. He is an active member of the Catalyst theatre company which creates new media to communicate science ( He performs and teaches improv to individuals and applied improv to corporate clients with the Renegade Saints (

In his scientific career, Dr Lagier studied sensory perception in the normal and in the schizophrenic brain, in France, the United States and in Switzerland.



Délai d'inscription 12.04.2021
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