Drawing up a “Grand Unified Theory of communication” for scientists and engineers, and demonstrating how it can be applied.
In this seminar, I give an introduction to a modern approach to communication – rooted in rhetorical tradition and using proven digital tools. I demonstrate how this mindset can be applied to writing, public speaking and the design of scientific illustrations and posters.
- Communication in general—five principles.
- Some dishes from the smorgasbord of rhetoric.
- Inverted pyramid style writing—an introduction.
- Public speaking: preparations, dealing with nervousness, delivery.
- PowerPoint: planning the slide deck and the delivery, designing the slides.
- Information design–notes on timelines, graphs etc.
- Research posters: a billboard, not a wall newspaper
Comment: I am a firm believer that there are principles, strategies and tools of communication which are universal. In my eyes, the Greek and the Romans already nailed it 2 000 years ago when they developed the art of rhetoric. Therefore, anyone who wants to be an effective communicator in one domain, e.g., science and technology, can learn a lot from other fields—especially those which are specialised in the communication process per se, e.g. journalism, PR and advertising.
Some tricks of the trade from journalism, PR & advertising
Time: 3–6 hours
Venue: computer room or classroom (where participants bring their own laptops)
The academic environment still nurtures a somewhat constrained and conservative communication culture. As an engineer turned professional writer and public speaker, I want to point out how methods, knowledge and experience from other domains can be applied to scientific communication and science dissemination. In this seminar, we focus on writing skills–especially how to write short and quick pieces for the web.
- Basic principles of communication & why rhetoric is still relevant in AD 2015.
- Journalistic texts, inverted pyramid style.
- Getting started: planning articles which are easy to write, fact check and publish.
- The email interview—the workhorse of busy web content writers.
- Working together, forming an editorial team.
- Popularizing science–some reflections.