Grad Slam Workshops & Information Sessions

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


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.

Information Sessions

  • January 14, 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
  • January 17, 12 PM to 1 PM -- UPDATE January 17: Session cancelled, may be rescheduled


The 2019 workshop 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. Utilizing Zoom for recording and livestreaming purposes is being considered.

January 14 and 24: Intro to the Message Box and focusing on defining one's Audience and Issue

  • Monday, January 14, 5 to 6 PM
  • Thursday, January 24, 12 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.

Week of January 28: Communicating the Problem and Answering the So What Question

  • Monday, January 28, 5 to 6 PM
  • Thursday, January 31, 12 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.

Week of February 4: Communicating Benefits and Solutions to Your Audience

  • Monday, February 4, 5 to 6 PM
  • Thursday, February 7, 12 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.

Week of February 11: Crafting a Memorable Message

  • Monday, February 11, 5 to 6 PM
  • Thursday, February 14, 12 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.

Week of February 18: Visual Design Considerations

  • Monday, February 18, 5 to 6 PM
  • Thursday, February 21, 12 to 1 PM

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

Week of February 25: Presenting with Confidence and Effective Use of Body Language and Vocal Variety

  • Monday, February 25, 5 to 6 PM
  • Thursday, February 28, 12 to 1 PM

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

Week of March 4: No workshops – Spring Break

Week of March 11: Presentation Run-Throughs and Feedback

Get evaluative and non-evaluative feedback on your Grad Slam presentation or another presentation you are preparing for.

  • Monday, March 11, 5 to 6:30 PM
  • Thursday, March 14, 12 to 1:30 PM
Last updated 12 Mar 2019