Are your research scientists struggling to deliver effective presentations?

You've spent countless hours and resources on groundbreaking research. But when it comes to presenting your findings, you're finding it hard to captivate your audience. 

Enter Presentation Skills for Scientists, a training course developed by experts with more than 20 years’ of experience in the field. Carefully refined over those 20 years, our programme trains your scientists to effectively communicate their research with confidence and impact.

With Presentation Skills for Scientists, give your researchers the tools they need to communicate their research in a compelling way that inspires action. Imagine seeing them deliver presentations that not only inform but also engage and motivate their audiences.

Our online and on-demand delivery options make it easy and convenient for you to schedule training that fits around work commitments. What's more, we can tailor the course content to the particular needs and interests of your scientists.

Invest in your research team's development today by booking our Presentation Skills for Scientists training course. You've done the work, now let us help you share it with the world.

The course at a glance

Here's an overview of what the course covers and how it will benefit your scientists. Scroll down to the next section for a detailed course curriculum.

  • Presentation preparation broken down into six simple steps

  • Coaching on how to tailor your talk to maximise audience engagement

  • Advice on how to structure an effective talk and use narrative to inspire audiences

  • On-demand training mixed with live, interactive feedback sessions

  • Expert trainers available to answer questions via chat

  • Option for an online course community to build team cohesion around the course

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome & introduction

    • Course welcome

    • How to use this course

    • What would you like to get out of this course?

    • Icebreaker: what makes a talk good or bad?

    • Top tips for a great presentation

    • The six key questions for preparing effective presentations

    • The six key questions: Question 1

    • The Expertise Matrix

    • The six key questions: Question 2

    • How would you approach these different audiences?

    • Audience motivations handout to download and keep

    • Audience analysis exercise

    • Audience analysis experiment

  • 2

    Planning structure & content

    • Question 3: Your main message

    • Quiz: identify these main messages

    • How to develop your supporting messages

    • How to be selective

    • Question 4: Getting the timing right

    • Introducing the "hourglass" structure

    • Example "hourglass" talk

  • 3

    Creating clear and engaging visual aids

    • The importance of clear and engaging slides

    • Planning your slides

    • Exercise: slide planner

    • Key principles of effective slide design

    • Using signposts help your audience follow your talk

    • Exercise: map your talk plan to your slide plan

    • Adding signposts to your slides

    • Signposting

  • 4

    Physical delivery skills

    • Standing & posture

    • Movement & gesture

    • Articulation & modulation

    • Pace & passion

    • Practising your physical delivery

    • Reading your audience's reactions

    • Audience engagement and online presentations

    • Managing Q&A sessions

  • 5

    Live presentation event

    • Zoom meeting: "mini-symposium" : presentations and trainer feedback

  • 6

    Storytelling and longer presentations

    • How storytelling techniques can take your presentation to the next level

    • Identify the storytelling elements in this example

    • Storytelling formats from quest to leitmotif

    • Storytelling case study

    • Structuring longer talks

    • Course feedback

    • Further resources: course notes and reading list


  • Who is this course for?

    We run this course for institutions and companies who want to help their scientists or science graduate students improve their presentation skills.

  • Can individuals sign up for this course?

    Not at the moment, although we plan to run a course for individuals if there is sufficient interest. Please see the "Courses for individuals" section of our online courses page for more information.

  • What does "on-demand" mean?"

    "On-demand" means that course attendees can access the course lessons (a mixture of videos, text lessons, case studies, quizzes and more) at their convenience.

  • What are the "live" sessions?

    These are sessions that we deliver via Zoom on a fixed date and at a fixed time. We use these to do group exercises and give attendees personalised feedback on their work.

  • Is the course completely self-paced?

    No. We run this course as a "cohort-based" course, which means the course has a fixed start and end date, and trainers are available to answer questions/chat to attendees throughout the duration of the course. This gives attendees a much better learning experience and means that far more of them complete the training.

  • How long does the course run for?

    We can adapt this to your needs, but to balance the demands of work and training, we recommend running it over a period of 4 or 5 weeks.

  • Can you bespoke the course materials?

    Certainly! We can tailor the course content to the needs of your scientists, and will create a unique, private course on our platform just for you. We can also add your institution's branding to materials such as the course completion certificates. Contact us to find out more.

Lead trainer

Senior Instructor

Jon Copley

Jon is Professor of Ocean Exploration & Science Communication at the University of Southampton and a former reporter and news editor of New Scientist magazine. In his training, he draws on 20 years of experience of being a research-active scientist who communicates his work to the public and policymakers both directly and via the media. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4 and World Service science radio programmes and has extensive experience of broadcast news interviews about his own research. He is a scientific advisor and onscreen contributor to TV documentaries including BBC Blue Planet II, and the author of popular science book Ask an Ocean Explorer (2019).

Five tips for effective presentations

Watch our trainer, Professor Jon Copley, give his top presentation tips at the 2012 European Molecular Biology Organisation conference

What scientists say about our presentation skills courses

Cancer research charity

PhD student

"I got a presentation award at a national meeting and I strongly believe that the skills that I gained from this workshop helped a lot for this result."

Research foundation, EU

Research scientist

"I loved all the sessions and very much appreciated all the exercises. It all gave me a lot of food for thought and will be very useful in my everyday job. Also, I was impressed by the experience and friendliness of the tutors."

Cancer research charity

PhD Student

"My supervisor is pleased with the progress I have made in my ability to deliver information in a concise and understandable manner. "

Food technology company, EU

Research scientist

"Very valuable to have a training on what we really face in our daily job, as scientific communication has specificities. Added value to have it from professionals of the field."

Marine conservation charity

Research scientist

"The sessions on structure were very useful to work out how to best engage the audience. I also liked session how to physically present--it helped to get tips on how to manage nerves."

Multinational research organisation, EU

Research scientist

"The course was really adapted to scientific presentations, and practical, useful information was given to us in a short time. Useful new things I can really use in future."

Enquire now

To find out how our presentation skills course can help your scientists, contact us via the button below.