Seminar on Rhetoric and Communication Skills (PhD level). Monastery Mariastein Course developed by Dr. Ralf Stutzki for Swiss Nanoscience Institute

Communicating science to the non-scientific public is no easy task. It requires the study, practice and mastery of rhetorical, presentation, media and communication skills. This seminar enhances the rhetorical skills of researchers and provides them with the level of competence and confidence required to communicate scientific content effectively and to present successfully to an audience. On completion of this two-day intensive course, participants will be able to

  • Understand how to analyse the principles and conditions of freedom of expression and public speaking;
  • Know how to use gestures, eye contact and facial expressions constructively in public speaking;
  • Use breathing techniques and speech exercises necessary to build a strong voice and tonality, and to control stage fright.

You want to speak? You need to breathe.

Your voice is an instRument. learn how to play it.

Presentation and feedback

Seminar participants are asked to give a 5 minute max. scientific presentation about their current research project. The speech will be videotaped for immediate feedback by the rhetoric coach, the other participants and the seminar instructor.

Participants are Reading short stories in their mother tongue

Narrative Elements in Scientific presentations?

Are there any? And if so, should we include them in our scientific conversations? To find out whether nanoscience encourages narrative elements in public discourse, seminar participants are asked to write a fairy tale about their current research in just 20 minutes. So - is there potential for narrative and could it enrich scientific presentations? Listen to two examples of our "nano fairytales" and decide for yourself: