The art of effectively presenting your research

8, 15, 22 October 2019


Participants will learn how to distill clear and engaging messages to any audience.


Dr Samuel Lagier is a multi-talented scientist and improviser. He teaches presentation skills to experts (SamSpeaksScience.com) and curates, coaches and hosts the TEDxLausanne conference since 2012. He manages the Geneva branch of the Catalyst theatre company which creates new media to communicate science (thecatalyst.ch). He performs and teaches improv to individuals and applied improv to corporate clients with the Renegade Saints (renegadesaints.ch).
In his scientific career, Dr Lagier studied sensory perception in the normal and in the schizophrenic brain, in France, the United States and in Switzerland.


Writing scientific articles, creating posters and giving presentations are important aspects of the work of a researcher. Communication skills are critical because the ability to explain the significance of a body of research affects the career of the investigator. This dynamic and interactive workshop will cover the fundamental elements of research communication: organise the content, create relevant visual supports and deliver messages to effectively engage an audience.

Day#1. The workshop will start with each participant presenting their work either with a poster (printed or projected) or with slides. Using a short description of the central question of the participants’ research, we will work on identifying and eliminating scientific jargon. After an introduction to storytelling, participants will refine the structure of their presentation. The rest of the day will be dedicated to visual supports. After an introduction to design principles, participants will create a graphical summary that can be used in slides, posters and scientific articles. The day will end with a focus on slide design.

Day#2. The first part of the day will focus on poster design. The rest of the day will be dedicated to the delivery of a presentation, whether it be in front of a poster or using slides. Participants will work on a number of aspects of body language (projection, pace, posture, eye contact, gestures…) in pairs or in small groups. A number of tips on how to best handle technology (pointer, clicker, microphones…) will be provided.

Day#3. The last part of the workshop will consist in the presentations from all participants. Each participant chooses to present in front of a poster (printed or projected) or with slides. It is recommended to use the same format as for day#1 to better assess the improvement of the presentation skills. The presentations will be filmed and the recordings given to the participants for their personal assessment.

Throughout the workshop, participants will receive ample feedback from the trainer and from other participants. We will discuss the importance of feedback and work on both giving and
receiving comments in order to keep learning from others. At the end of the workshop, each participant will have improved a presentation of their work. They will have acquired important
notions on how to shape, illustrate and deliver a presentation and will have tools to further their training through observation and personal assessment.

Pre-course assignments

Please bring at the course:

  • a description of your work to a non-scientist in one sentence
  • a 3-min presentation of your work with no more than 5 slides or a scientific poster (to present in 3 minutes)
  • a graphical summary of your work
  • comfortable clothes to move around freely

General information

Dates: 8, 15, 22 October 2019 (2 and a half days)

Schedule:  day#1 8.55-17.00, day#2 8.55-17.00, day#3 8.55-12.30

Venue:  University of Neuchâtel, Faculté des Sciences, Emile-Argand 11, UniMail, building A, room A017

ECTS: 1.5 (Communication)

Evaluation: Full attendance and active participation

Information: Please contact the doctoral program coordinator Dr Sara Santi

Registration fee: free for Organismal Biology doctoral program participants

Travel expenses: For participants of the Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology (DP-biol ): see reimbursement conditions

Meals expenses: No meal expenses will be reimbursed

Make sure that you sign the attendance list each and every day and take your certificate of attendance at the end of the course (no attestation will be sent by mail).


  • This course is free and open to all PhD students, however until 17 September 2019 priority is given to "Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology" participants.
  • Post-docs are welcome as long as places are available.
  • Maximum number of participants: 14 people (minimum number of participants: 8 people)

Registration through the web only: closed. The course is fully booked.

Cancellation: before the deadline: free of charge, after the deadline: CHF 50.-

Please note the cancellation policy.

Deadline: 24 September 2019