There are many resources to help you improve your speaking skills. Here are some suggestions to get you started. 


Toastmasters International has a terrific program for helping everyone become a better, more confident speaker! Self paced and low cost. Visit a club near you. 

Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science

ASBMB Outreach Communication Training

AAAS: Communicating Science: Tools for Scientists and Engineers

ASM: Art of Science Communication Workshop


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. Nice list of resources too.  


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.

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

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.