SAFS in the News: Faculty Friday with Tim Essington

The Whole U Faculty Friday series features SAFS professor Tim Essington:

‘To deliver the perfect presentation, prepare to embrace your mistakes.

That’s the philosophy Tim Essington brings to Applied Improvisation for Science Communication, a course the professor of aquatic and fishery sciences developed to help scientists more confidently and effectively communicate their research.

“Giving a good talk isn’t just what you put on your slides, it’s conveying a story about your research,” Essington says. “If you’re so worried you’re going to misspeak and filter everything you say, you’re going to come off as stifled and you’re not going to communicate effectively.”

It’s a hang-up Essington acknowledges hampers academics of all disciplines, but says can plague scientists in particular for whom careful self-editing and rigorous cross-checks benefit lab- and field-work, but often work against researchers when speaking publicly or in lecture settings.

“The thing that’s drilled into us as scientists is, ‘don’t make a mistake,’” Essington says. “But the mistake is a wonderful thing. The way you handle it totally changes how the audience perceives it.”’

Read the whole thing here

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