Participating in the Communicating Science workshop offers you a starting set of skills, but there's much more you can do to practice your communication skills. Consider the follow-up activities and options below to build on your training.
- Refresh with AAAS Resources: Need a refresher on the basics covered in the workshop — and then some? Visit the AAAS Communicating Science website for online resources.
- Start a Group: If you attended the workshop with colleagues from your institution, continue to meet and practice together. Spend time meeting in a small group to work on developing and honing messages you weren't able to finish during the workshop.
- Practice and Review: Use a video recorder to record and playback your message. Better yet, work as a group and record each person's message delivery, then share constructive feedback.
- Expand Your Message (but not too much!): Once you boil down your message into three key points and can deliver it briefly, you can expand upon it with more detail. When delivering the expanded message, remember to deliver the briefest version of your message first — you do not want to overload your audience with details at the start.
- Strive to Understand the Public: Using the AAAS public engagement resources, NSF public indicators data and other sources included in your workshop packet, read more about public attitudes, understanding, and knowledge of your topic. Share what you learn with your colleagues, and encourage your research team to share "lessons learned" from public communication experiences on a regular basis.
- Practice Makes Perfect: Attending a workshop and using the online resources is a strong start to building your skills, but be sure to actually put your skills to work! For your next lab open house, school event, or science cafe appearance, make a conscious effort to use the skills discussed at the workshop.