Gaining science communication skills online

EIT RawMaterials connects PhD students with experts in science communication to practise new and more compelling ways to explain their research story at the “Talk Nerdy To Me” bootcamp. This year, the bootcamp developed an interactive setting to bring all participants online. Over thirty PhD students learned how to tailor their research presentation to different audiences, as well as had a wonderful opportunity to network with fellow researchers from across the raw materials disciplines.

It was not prepared to be an online event from the beginning. Therefore, we are happy that participants were satisfied and the joy using the online tools exceeded their expectations.

Steffen Robert, Education Manager at EIT RawMaterials Innovation Hub West

Three years ago, the Talk Nerdy To Me bootcamp was developed to help PhD students effectively communicate and present their research to different target groups – such as policymakers, peers in the scientific community and private funding organisations – thereby increasing the impact of their research. The bootcamp consists of a mix of plenary training modules and interactive break-out sessions in smaller, more focused groups. The training is led by experts providing tips and feedback on body language, vocal cadence and how to capture and maintain the interest of your audience.

Activities included workshops on developing audience persona, and storytelling techniques. Participants received one-to-one feedback from facilitators, covering visuals, storytelling, presentation style, visuals and more, and were able to practise presenting their material to the rest of their group. At the end of the bootcamp, three volunteers bravely gave their presentation to the entire group of participants and facilitators.

Since its first implementation, Talk Nerdy To Me has always been characterised by a special spirit – young, motivated researchers come together to learn with and from each other how their research can have even more impact on different target groups.

Lea Daling, Research Associate at the Chair of Information Management in Mechanical Engineering (IMA) – RWTH Aachen University

Despite the challenges of holding a communication focused event online, feedback from participants was positive! We would like to thank all the Talk Nerdy To Me participants, and the co-organisers from RWTH Aachen and TU Clausthal.

Hats off to a very well organised, fun and interactive online event, and it was great to meet other nerdy researchers!

Talk Nerdy To Me participant 

Talk Nerdy To Me 2020 was a great refreshing online event, I really enjoyed it, even if I was sceptical at the start. We have learned a lot, met a lot of amazing people, and had kind of informal atmosphere which was great as well!

Talk Nerdy To Me participant

Learn more