@rachelss’ tweetstorm on speaking tips for academic presentations (unrolled and reformatted):

Had a theater student work w grad students on presentation skills for grad seminar this week. Saw great improvements in just an hour. Some things I learned. 1/

(1) Turn nervous energy and movements into intentional movements; channel the energy and use it. Own the movement (eg walking, gestures).

(2) Avoid pauses within sentences. Intentionally pause between sentences to avoid this and frame individual thoughts. 2/

(3) Deliver whole thoughts to a group in the audience. Don’t split the thought between groups - this makes movements between groups intentional.

(4) Place weight on words to indicate importance; vary tone and inflection to keep things interesting. Practice w dif tones. 3/

(5) Speak “brightly” and direct your voice up (at forehead level so you don’t have to make uncomfortable eye contact). (6) Develop a warmup or routine prior to speaking to avoid nerves. 4/5

All in all, great experience working with someone who knows how to engage an audience and present well due to theater training. I recommend it. 5/5

Max Masnick, PhD @max

© Max Masnick. Views expressed here are mine alone.