Improv for STEM professionals: creating engaging conversations

Effective science communication relies on the ability to be aware of and responsive to both verbal and nonverbal feedback from an audience. Yet the techniques that make this possible (listening deeply, being flexible and responding spontaneously) are learned through practice that is rarely part of our scientific training. More than knowing what to do, scientists need opportunities to experience and practice what to do.

During a workshop at the 2015 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting, sponsored by the ASBMB Public Outreach Committee, attendees will participate in improvisational theater exercises that stretch the communication muscles needed to give engaging professional talks or participate in outreach activities.

improvscience® founder Raquell Holmes will lead a series of experiential, highly interactive exercises that will help participants develop listening skills and create a rapport with the audience.

Among the planned activities are the following:

  • "Recruiters delight," in which participants practice talking about their work through interviews and introductions;
  • storytelling exercise; and
  • workshop debriefing to analyze key themes and identify next steps.  

Join us for this unique session; it’s guaranteed to get you up and out of your seat!

Geoffrey Hunt Geoff Hunt (ghunt@asbmb.org) is ASBMB’s outreach coordinator. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thegeoffhunt