Preparing to Excel

Public speaking is a skill that requires practice, and we have workshops and resources to help you succeed. Whether you participate in Grad Slam or are preparing for a class presentation or poster session, we can help you build confidence and refine your public speaking abilities.

All information sessions are offered via Zoom. The link will be provided after registration.

All students may attend the workshops for free. Participation in Grad Slam is not required to attend the training opportunities. Registration is highly encouraged and will open in January. All workshops for Spring 2023 will be offered in hybrid format via Zoom and at the Graduate Center (1600 E 1st St.) in Room 102. The link to the Zoom meetings is provided after registration. Information Sessions are offered over Zoom only. Titles and descriptions of workshops are subject to change. All times are in Mountain Standard Time zone. Missed a workshop or information session? No worries! You can access slides and handouts from the workshops by visiting our online folder. You will need to login using your NetID and password.

The series focuses on how to utilize the COMPASS Message Box for public speaking, communicating research, and explaining the importance of your project. Communication strategies from other sources such as Toastmasters, theatre, and journalism will be incorporated into the workshop series.

Intro to the Message Box and Defining the Audience and Topic

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

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

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

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

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

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

These sessions are dedicated time for Grad Slam participants to practice their presentations, get feedback, and ask questions.

COMPASS Message Box Workbook - A great resource for helping you communicate to a variety of audiences.

UArizona Toastmaster Clubs- Communities where you can refine your communication and leadership skills. The University has five groups to choose from.

How to Give a Killer Presentation: Lessons from TED by Chris Andersen, Harvard Business Review, June 2013

Giving an Academic Talk by Jonathan Shewchuk, Associate Professor in Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley

Giving Oral Presentations from English Communication for Scientists by Jean-luc Doumont (ed.), Nature (2010)

Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds

Making the Most of Your Three Minutes for 3MT: The Three Minute Thesis by Simon Clews, Director, Writing Centre, University of Melbourne

10 Hints for Improving Presentations for the Three Minute Thesis Competition by Danielle Fischer, Charles Darwin University

TED Talks: A direct link to the TED talk site with the 0-6 minute duration selected.

PhD Comics Two-Minute Thesis: PhD Comics challenged graduate students to explain their work in two minutes; the best have been turned into videos!

3 Minute Thesis Competition Presentations: Top presentations from a multi-university thesis competition in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the South Pacific

Watch past Grad Slam finalists and semi-finalists for inspiration.

Check out the Arizona 3-Minute Grad Slam participant videos. The event is similar to Grad Slam and features presenters from the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, and Arizona State University.