training

Workshops

If you want to train a team, Melissa offers workshops targeted to different aspects of powerful presentations. She’ll come on site and work with your scientists, engineers, or other technical professionals in a group setting, giving them the tools they need to transform their presentation skills.

Two Day Courses

Present Your Science: Course and Coaching

Number of Participants: Maximum of 75 on Day 1, Maximum of 20 on Day 2 for individual coaching*

(Additional participants from Day 1 are welcome to audit/observe Day 2)

*Melissa Marshall Consulting can provide additional associate coaches for the breakout sessions on Day 2 to increase the number of participants. Please inquire.

Would your team benefit from tailored training and coaching on their technical presentation skills from a world-class expert in scientific communications? This comprehensive and intensive 2 day course equips scientists, engineers, researchers, and technical professionals to present their science in an understandable, memorable, and persuasive way.  Through a dynamic combination of lecture, discussion, exercises, video analysis and personalized coaching from Melissa Marshall, each participant will walk away with the skills, knowledge, practice, and feedback necessary to transform the way their work is presented.

Course Objectives

  • Transform the scientific presentations skills of participants.  Enable participants to utilize effective strategies for content, structure, slide design and delivery of scientific presentations.
  • Teach participants to analyze and adapt to their audience.
  • Help participants understand which scientific details to emphasize in their presentation and which details to filter out.
  • Equip participants to understand and enact the assertion evidence slide design in their own talks to make their scientific presentations more understandable, memorable, and engaging.
  • Assist participants in developing an engaging and confident delivery style.
  • Discuss strategies for effectively handling a Q&A session, especially difficult questions.

Agenda

Day 1: Formal Workshop (6 hours): The formal teaching portion of the course where participants will engage in lecture, discussion, exercises, and video analysis while developing their own talks. See agenda for the one day course as an example.

Day 2: Coaching (7-8 hours): Participants will prepare and give an approximately 10 minute presentation about their own work based on strategies learned in Day 1. Participants will receive individual feedback and coaching from the instructor and peers in the session. Pre-work instructions will be provided to participants and preparation before the session is required.  It is recommended (but optional) that participants be video recorded to review their own performance following the session.


Sell Your Science: Pitching to Investors (Course and Coaching)

Number of Participants: Maximum of 75 on Day 1, Maximum of 20 on Day 2 for individual coaching*

(Additional participants from Day 1 are welcome to audit/observe Day 2)

*Melissa Marshall Consulting can provide additional associate coaches for the breakout sessions on Day 2 to increase the number of participants. Please inquire.

This intensive 2-day course equips scientists, engineers, researchers, and technical professionals to sell their science to investors and venture capitalists.  This course focuses on the pivotal pitch presentation—that all important opportunity where you have just a short period of time to: 1) gain the interest of the investor, 2) help the investor understand the science behind your project, and 3) persuade the investor to fund your work. This in-depth and hands-on course includes lecture, discussion, exercises, and individual coaching.  Some pre-workshop preparation is expected so that participants are prepared to present their own work for individual feedback and coaching.

Course Objectives

  • Equip participants to effectively analyze the needs and motivations of an investor audience.
  • Enable participants to utilize compelling language, visual, and storytelling techniques to engage and persuade investors to support their work.
  • Teach participants how to filter the details of their science appropriately for an investor audience.
  • Provide participants with concrete tools they can use when structuring their content and crafting visual aids to ensure persuasive and understandable communication of their work.
  • Direct participants on enacting delivery strategies to convey their energy and enthusiasm for the work.  Passion sells!
  • Increase participants’ communication confidence and enthusiasm through direct expert feedback about their strengths and specific strategies where they can improve.

Agenda

Day 1: Formal Course (6 hours): The formal teaching portion of the course where participants will engage in lecture, discussion, exercises, and video analysis while developing their own pitch presentations. (See agenda below for 1-day course for content details)

Day 2: Coaching (7-8 hours): Participants will prepare and give an approximately 10-minute pitch presentation about their own work based on strategies learned in Day 1.  The intended audience for this pitch is investors and venture capitalists.  Participants will receive individual feedback and coaching from the instructor and peers in the session.   Pre-work instructions will be provided to participants and preparation before the session is required.  It is recommended (but optional) that participants be video recorded to review their own performance following the session.

One Day Courses

Present Your Science: Transforming Technical Talks Course
Number of Participants: Maximum of 75

Does your team need in depth training to transform their technical talks? This intensive 1-day course equips scientists, engineers, researchers, and technical professionals to present their science in an understandable, memorable, and persuasive way.  Through a dynamic combination of lecture, discussion, exercises, and video analysis, each participant will walk away with the skills, knowledge, and practice necessary to transform the way their work is presented.

Course Objectives

  • Transform the scientific presentations skills of participants.  Enable participants to utilize effective strategies for content, structure, slide design and delivery of scientific presentations.
  • Teach participants to analyze and adapt to their audience.
  • Help participants understand which scientific details to emphasize in their presentation and which details to filter out.
  • Equip participants to understand and enact the assertion evidence slide design in their own talks to make their scientific presentations more understandable, memorable, and engaging.
  • Assist participants in developing an engaging and confident delivery style.
  • Discuss strategies for effectively handling a Q&A session, especially difficult questions.

Agenda (6 Hours)

1.5 hours | Qualities of Effective Technical Presentations, Analyzing Audience, Filtering Detail, Structuring Content

2.5 hours | Illustration of Technical Ideas, The Assertion Evidence Slide Design, Special Slide Considerations (Title, Agenda, and Conclusion Slides), Crafting an Effective Pre-Read and Handout Document for a Presentation

1 hour | Dynamic Delivery, Achieving Confidence

1 hour | Handling Q & A


Sell Your Science: Pitching to Investors Course
Number of Participants: Maximum of 75

Do you want to learn strategies to sell your next big technical idea to an investor? This workshop equips scientists, engineers, researchers, and technical professionals to sell their science to investors and venture capitalists.  This workshop focuses on the pivotal pitch presentation—that all important opportunity where you have just a short period of time to: 1) gain the interest of the investor, 2) help the investor understand the science behind your project, and 3) persuade the investor to fund your work.  This in-depth and hands-on group workshop includes lecture, discussion, group exercises, and analysis of examples to enable the participant to successfully sell their science during their next pitch presentation.

Course Objectives

  • Equip participants to effectively analyze the needs and motivations of an investor audience.
  • Enable participants to utilize compelling language, visual, and storytelling techniques to engage and persuade investors to support their work.
  • Teach participants how to filter the details of their science appropriately for an investor audience.
  • Provide participants with concrete tools they can use when structuring their content and crafting visual aids to ensure persuasive and understandable communication of their work.
  • Direct participants on enacting delivery strategies to convey their energy and enthusiasm for the work.  Passion sells!

Agenda (6 Hours)

1 hour | Introduction and workshop goals, The unique context of investor pitching, Understanding and analyzing the investor audience

2 hours | Filtering details to create the storyline of your work, Structuring a persuasive argument, Illuminating language strategies, CStorytelling for science communication, Content exercises

2 hours | An evidence based approach to effective visual aids that persuade, Crafting an effective handout to leave behind, Visual aid design exercises

1 hour | Delivery techniques to engage and persuade, Why passion sells

Half-Day Workshops (4 hours)*

Number of Participants: Maximum of 75

*Client can also select a time schedule of 3-3.5 hours, instead of 4 hours, if that is more suitable.  Same fee applies.

 

Present Your Science: Transforming Technical Talks

My signature offering! This versatile half-day workshop covers the full gamut: content strategy, slide design, and presentation delivery. With a dynamic combination of lecture, discussion, video analysis, and exercises, this workshop will truly transform how your scientists present their work and will help foster a culture of improved communications throughout your company or institution.

 

Show Your Science: Visual Aids for Technical Talks

Looking for improved and practical slide design strategies that go way beyond killing your audience’s interest with bullet point after bullet point? This workshop takes a deep dive into the world of slide design and challenges the status quo of boring, text heavy slides with innovative, research-based strategies for more effective and engaging visual aids.  Working with their own material, participants will learn a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of slides and they will learn innovative new strategies for showing their science to their audience with exciting slide design.  WARNING: This workshop results in dramatically improved slides and participants who will never think about or design slides in the same way ever again!

 

Talk Nerdy to Me: Presenting Your Science to the Public

Talking to the general public about your science can be tricky—How much can you assume they know? How much detail should you share? How can you get them excited about your topic? If these questions sound familiar, this workshop is for you. Melissa will offer proven strategies that will improve your content, slides and delivery so that you can more easily engage a general audience. This is an interactive workshop where you’ll participate in group exercises, analyze video examples and then practice the techniques you’ve learned using your own work.

 

Small Group Coaching Sessions (3.5 hours)
Number of Participants: Maximum of 10*

A terrific add-on to the half or full day Present Your Science Workshop! Each participant in this session gives a 10 minute presentation and receives individual feedback on their presentation content, slides, and delivery from Melissa Marshall as well as from the other participants in the session. This session has high value for those needing presentation experience or those with an important presentation coming up that needs review. It is recommended that this session be video recorded so that participants can review their performance. It is required that participants have attended one of Melissa’s lectures, workshops or courses in order to participate in these coaching sessions. Some pre-work is required.

*Melissa Marshall Consulting can provide additional associate coaches for the coaching sessions to increase the number of participants that can receive individual feedback. Please inquire.

“Lunch and Learn” Lectures (60-90 minutes, held any time of day)

Number of Participants: Unlimited

 

Bullets Kill: Transforming Slide Design

Using a slide design strategy proven to make technical presentations more understandable, memorable, and persuasive, Melissa will teach your team to create better presentation slides using an engaging, assertion-evidence design structure. Through a series of exercises and critiques using their own material, participants will learn the theory behind the structure and how to make immediate improvements.

 

Powerful Presentations: Tools for Clear Content and Dynamic Delivery

The ability of your audience to understand and be interested in your technical work depends on what you say and how you say it. This lecture presents tools that participants can use to: 1) filter the detail of their work to make a clear argument, 2) construct content that is memorable and “sticks” with an audience, 3) structure a presentation to engage an audience, 4) understand how to use voice and body to be dynamic, 5) achieve greater confidence.  These skills will be taught via lecture, discussion, small group exercises, and analysis of videos of other speakers.

 

Powerful Posters: Creating Engaging and Accessible Scientific Posters

Have you walked into the poster session at a recent conference only to be overwhelmed by all of the wordy, complicated posters on display?  How can you make sure that your work gains the attention of those passing by? Scientific posters play an important role in research communication by allowing you to more personally interact with those interested in your topic.  This interactive lecture provides tips and tricks for presenting scientific posters more effectively.  Key topics to be covered include layout, formatting, selection of visuals, gaining attention, and delivery of the poster to viewers.

 

Going Up? Effective Elevator Pitches

Sometimes you only have a couple of minutes to get your message across, and that “elevator pitch” can often make the difference between success and stagnation. Melissa will teach your team how to create a clear and convincing summary of their research so that it’s compelling for any audience. Video examples of effective elevator pitches will be shown and analyzed. Participants will create, practice, and receive peer feedback on their own pitches during the workshop.

 

You asked what? Handling Q & A Sessions

Effectively handling a Q & A session is an important part of achieving clarity in a technical presentation. This interactive lecture will provide tips and strategies for answering questions effectively following a presentation, especially the hard ones!  Participants will engage in role-playing exercises with one another to practice the techniques.

Webinars and Remote Training

While I recommend my in person training most highly due to its highly interactive and personalized nature, some of the above workshops, lectures, and trainings can be offered to your team remotely via web conference (such as Webex). Please inquire for details if your team is distributed and would benefit from some remote training.

Train the Trainer (Customized Schedule)

Do people in leadership positions at your institution need help providing feedback and developing the presentation skills of their employees? A Train the Trainer program is geared towards giving those in leadership positions effective strategies for developing the presentation skills of their team members.


Don’t quite see what you are looking for?
Please inquire about customized offerings to suit your needs.




ANS Conference Teaching

Coaching

For scientists who need more personalized and in-depth consulting for high-stakes presentations, Melissa offers one-on-one coaching for select clients.

She’ll work with you to:
•Identify and clarify the most critical claims necessary for your audience
•Craft the presentation content using language that engages and resonates
•Create slides that communicate your ideas in a persuasive, meaningful, and memorable way
•Fine-tune and amplify your delivery through dress rehearsals

Melissa also offers one-on-one follow-up coaching for clients who have gone through one or more of her group workshops.

training


presentation skills

Speaking

A dynamic keynote address is a great way to set the tone for a successful conference or meeting. Melissa’s talks are informative, dynamic and inspiring and will motivate your audience to make positive changes in the way they present their science. Melissa custom tailors her talks to your specific conference needs to ensure all content and examples are fresh and relevant.

training