There are many resources to help you integrate science communication into your group’s career plans. Here are some books, videos or articles to get you started.  Note, we are focused on oral science communication, especially the use of storytelling.


Escape from the Ivory Tower. A Guide to Making Your Science Matter. Nancy Baron. 2010. Tried-and-true methods from Nancy and the COMPASS team that will improve your communications skills and make your science matter. Describes the Message Box technique.

From Awful to Awesome: 9 Essential Tools for Effective Presentations. Don Franceschi. 2016. A roadmap for effective speaking. Don is a CTS instructor!

Made to Stick. Why some ideas survive and others die. Chip and Dan Heath. 2008. 

The craft of scientific presentations. Critical steps to succeed and critical errors to avoid.  2nd edition. Michael Alley. 2013.

Resonate. Nancy Duarte. 2010.

TED's secret to great public speaking Chris Anderson (TED talk).  (7:55)

Communicating Science: Giving Talks. The Burroughs Wellcome Fund. 2nd edition. Nice list of resources too. 


GradSciComm. Report and Recommendations.  Integrating sci comm training into STEM grad education. 2014.

Bodmer Report. The Public Understanding of Science. The Royal Society. 1985.

Bankston, A., & McDowell, G. S. (2018). Changing the Culture of Science Communication Training for Junior Scientists. Journal of microbiology & biology education19(1), 19.1.43. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1413


Speaking up without freaking out.  Techniques for confident, calm and competent presenting.  Matt Abrahams. 2016. (See also his website and YouTube No Freaking Speaking: 3 Techniques for Managing Speaking Anxiety  (10:39)

Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking (Megan Washington) (TED talk) Stuttering/speech impediment/overcoming fear (12:55)

How I beat stage fright (Joe Kowan) (TED talk) Write more, practice more, use humor!  (8:03)

TED talks --- Search "value of self-confidence", "body language", & "non-verbal communication"


Plain Lists, advice and essays on using simple words.

7 ways to simplify complex content article

Distilling complexity (TED talk) Eric Berlow (3:42)

Thing Explainer. Complicated stuff in simple words. Randall Munroe. 2015 (Using only the 1000 most common words to explain complex science & engineering.) 

speech preparation

Search Internet for “writing a speech” - lots of info on how to write a speech.  

eNotes  How to write a speech.  

Darren LaCroix  Check out his speech crafting tips. 

My Speech Class  Speech topics and ideas 

Memory Tools

Tony Buzan  Mind mapping

Mind Tools

iMindMap  Method of Loci.  


Slide:ology. The art and science of creating great presentations. Nancy Duarte. 2008.

Resonate. Nancy Duarte. 2010.

Storytelling with Data. Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic. 2015. 

Wall Street Journal guide to information graphics: the dos and don'ts of presenting data, facts, and figures.  Dona M. Wong. 2013.

Edward R. Tufte  Check out his website for books, courses, and more. 

Visual Strategies. Felice Frankel & Angela DePace. 2012.

S.P.A.R.K.| 5 Strategies for visual communication of science. (Excellent online course) Betsy Palay and Tami Tolpa. 2018.

Venngage. Many types of visual tools for presenting data & stories. Templates for making infographics, posters, and more. Tutorials.

Poster Design

Colin Purrington’s --- great advice on poster design. 

Scientific Posters. Michael Alley --- website: design, examples, templates

Ben Nargi (Penn State) --- video (11:43) --- several useful tutorials

Venngage. Many types of visual tools for presenting data & stories. Templates for making infographics, posters, and more. Tutorials.

NCSU's tutorial on poster design.  Excellent tutorial on creating and presenting scientific posters.

Collation of good links to poster design --- Cornell University Library


Houston. We have a narrative. Randy Olson. 2015. (

Made to Stick. Why some ideas survive and others die. Chip and Dan Heath. 2008.

The story factor. Annette Simmons.  2006.

Resonate. Nancy Duarte. 2010.

The springboard. How storytelling ignites action in knowledge-era organizations. Stephen Denning. 2001.

The Art of Scientific Storytelling: Transform Your Research Manuscript using a Step-by-Step Formula.  Luna, Rafael E.  2013

Business Storytelling for Dummies. Karen Dietz & Lori Silverman. 2014. A complete guide for crafting memorable stories about you, your work or your organization!

Storytelling with Data. Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic. 2015.

Interview Skills 

101 Toughest Interview Questions: And Answers That Win the Job! Porot, Daniel; Haynes, Frances Bolles (2013).

Google search:  “interview questions” … many videos and webpages!

Science Denialism

Welcome to the Age of Denial. Adam Frank, New York Times. Aug 21, 2013

Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us. Sara Gorman and Jack Gorman. 2016.

The War on Science: Who's waging it, why it matters, what we can do about it. Shawn Otto. 2016. 

Have other suggestions? Please let us know.