Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Expressing Your Enthusiasm: An Oral Communication Workshop for Graduate Students and Postdocs

Event Time 

Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Event Description 

Apply here

Workshop Description

Day: Thursdays, March 30, April 6, 13, and 20

Time: Workshop 6:30 – 8:00 pm, dinner and discussion 6:00 – 6:30 pm

Location: Yale Center for Teaching and Learning (Sterling Memorial Library, 301 York Street)  

You’ve all seen TED talks and their equivalents. Some of you might be able to give one now if asked, while others will find the challenge horrifying. Not everyone has equal abilities in speaking for public consumption. The ability to engage and hold people’s attention to convey information they understand and remember will lead to greater success for a variety of career paths. This is an especially critical talent if the information you communicate is technical and laced with field-specific jargon.

Through this short course, you will develop the skills to prepare and deliver a 5 to 8-minute “TED-style” talk with no visual aids. These skills have the potential to help you in many other areas including talks to peers in your lab group, presentations at meetings, pitches to funding agencies and venture capitalists, and explanations to your family and friends about your scholarship.

Applicants should be proficient in English as a spoken language* and will be selected based on their commitment to attend all four sessions and complete assignments.

*The Yale Center for Language Study offers many ESL programs. Please see: cls.yale.edu/english-language-program


Workshop Outline

Session 1: Positive Attitudes and barriers to effective communication

Session 2: Developing your elevator pitch

Session 3: Incorporating objective and novice feedback

Session 4: Delivering your “TED-style” talk


Workshop Facilitators and Coordinators

Robert Bazell, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, former chief science and health correspondent, NBC News

Gordon Edelstein, Artistic Director, New Haven Long Wharf Theater

Kaury Kucera, Interim Director for Graduate and Postdoctoral Teaching Development, Center for Teaching and Learning, Yale University


This program is supported by the Center for Teaching and Learning with help from the Long Wharf Theater.

For more information, visit ctl.yale.edu