Grad Slam Workshops & Information Sessions

UPDATE, March 13, 2020: Grad Slam is postponed to Fall 2020 in response to COVID-19. The March 23 and 26 workshops will be held via Zoom, if at all.

UPDATE, March 20, 2020: March 23 workshop is cancelled. March 26 workshop is Zoom Only and updated to focus on exploring feedback strategies.


The Graduate Center and the Graduate & Professional Student Council host information and pre-event workshops for students and participants in Grad Slam. Free and open to all students, the information sessions help students learn more about Grad Slam and the workshops help students learn about strategies for effective public speaking and enhance their skills.

All students may attend the workshops. Students do not have to be competing in Grad Slam to attend. Registration is highly encouraged. Register online at

Missed a workshop or information session? Don't fret. You can access slides and handouts from the workshops by visiting our online folder. You will need to login using your NetID and password.


Graduate Center, Room 4, 1600 E 1st Street (SE Corner of 1st Street and Cherry Avenue), unless otherwise noted. Zoom will be utilized for individuals that cannot attend in person. The Zoom link will be shared after one signs up for the workshops or information sessions.


Titles and Descriptions of Workshops subject to change.

Use this link to register for the information sessions and workshops:

Information Sessions

January 23, 9 AM to 10 AM

February 19, 4 PM to 5 PM - UPDATE: Only waitlist spots remain. Interested students can still attend via Zoom using this link: .

February 24, 12 PM to 1 PM - UPDAT: Only waitlist spots remain. Interested students can still attend via Zoom using this link: .


    The series focuses on how to utilize the COMPASS Message Box for public speaking and communication of research and the importance of outreach or creative projects. Communication strategies from other sources such as Toastmasters, theatre, and journalism will be incorporated into the workshop series. Two sessions of each topic will be offered. Attend in-person or online via Zoom.

    Intro to the Message Box and focusing on defining one's Audience and Issue

    • January 27, 5 PM to 6 PM
    • January 30, 12 PM to 1 PM

    Attendees will learn about the Message Box technique as a communication tool. Following the overview, attendees will take a deeper dive into the first two sections of the Message Box: defining one's Audience and the Issue(s) one's work addresses.

    Communicating the Problem and Answering the So What Question

    • February 3, 5 PM to 6 PM (Zoom Only)
    • February 6, 12 PM to 1 PM

    Attendees will learn about strategies for communicating to a diverse audience the problem(s) their work addresses and strategies for communicating the importance of their work a.k.a. answering the "So What?" question.

    Communicating Benefits and Solutions to Your Audience

    • February 10, 5 PM to 6 PM
    • February 13, 12 PM to 1 PM

    Attendees will learn about ways to identify the benefits and solutions of their work for a variety of audiences. The workshop will also explore how to connect benefits and solutions to each other and to other parts of one's Message Box.

    Crafting a Memorable Message

    • February 17, 5 PM to 6 PM
    • February 20, 12 PM to 1 PM

    Attendees will learn strategies for making presentations to diverse audiences memorable and will have an opportunity to get feedback on ideas they have for their next presentation.

    Visual Design Considerations

    • February 24, 5 PM to 6 PM
    • February 27, 12 PM to 1 PM

    Attendees will learn strategies for visual design of slides and related visual aids for oral presentations.

    Presenting with Confidence and Effective Use of Body Language and Vocal Variety

    • March 2, 5 PM to 6 PM
    • March 5, 12 PM to 1 PM

    Attendees will learn how to mitigate presentation anxiety and strategies for using body language and vocal variety.

    Presentation Run-Throughs and Feedback - UPDATE: New title "Strategies for Eliciting Useful Feedback"

    • March 23, 5 PM to 6:30 PM - CANCELLED
    • March 26, 12 PM to 1:30 PM - NEW TIME: 12 PM to 1 PM ZOOM ONLY

    Explore evaluative and non-evaluative feedback strategies to get the feedback you desire for your presentations. This workshop will be a mix of exploring what feedback strategies work best for you and testing them out through activities.

    Last updated 20 May 2020