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Communication Skills

As you explore and develop your research, communication is a key skill to consider. Through your career, you might find situations when you will need to communicate with experts in your field—such as at conferences or networking events—or with non-experts—such as in grant applications, media interviews, search committees, or even in elevator conversations. Below are a list of tools to consider as you begin thinking about how you communicate your research to various audiences.

Want to see a good example? Check out videos of our Research Live! finalists on Media Space.

Collecting your Content

When you’re working on your research, every last detail seems important and worth sharing with others—whether they are familiar with your field or not. That’s why it’s important to practice how you talk about your research and to think about ways to get people interested and excited in what you do.

Images and Visuals

If your presentation includes visuals, make sure to select them carefully. You’ll want to find images or tables that are visually appealing and that emphasize key aspects of your work. Most importantly: strive for simplicity! Cluttering your slides with images and text can overwhelm your audience.

Performance

Giving a speech can be a nerve-racking experience, but it is important to practice this skill in order to become more confident and comfortable in front of others.

Discipline-Specific

There are a number of discipline-specific resources that may help you as you prepare to communicate both inside and outside of your discipline.

Workshops and Events

Acting for Academics
3:00 - 4:30 pm, Tuesday, September 18
Illini Union, Room 314A

Developing Your Presentation Visuals
3:30-5 pm, Monday, September 24
Gregory Hall, Room 223

Research Live!
Research presentation competition for graduate students.

Office Hours: 12:00 - 3:00 pm, Tuesday, October 9
Preliminary Rounds: October 10 and 11
Final Round: October 23