Convincing Scientific Talks – 4 Webinars

Clear Content – Proper Slides – Convincing Performance on-site & online

For up to 10 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, in German or English

4 webinars, 3.5 hours each

Trainer: Dr. Matthias Mayer

About this Webinar Series

  • Interactive series of four webinars, each 3 hours
  • This seminar will usually focus BOTH on presenting in physical AND in online contexts. If your institution prefers, we can focus on only one of the two scenarios.
  • We also offer this content as a compact 2-days training (see there)
  • Requires participants’ work between the webinars (1-2 hrs each time)
  • This content can be modified so that even groups of up to 60 participants can learn the basics of scientific presentations and receive feedback. The feedback is then given by peers after instruction on how to do so – not the trainer.

As a scientist it is essential to be able not only to produce first class content and results, but also to competently communicate it. Scientific talks and presentations are highly important. You should be able to perform excellently in the few minutes you are given – be it a TAC talk, a lab or department talk, a seminar, a conference talk, or a public presentation.

Based on your performance your audience will decide whether they consider you competent and whether they can and want to further follow you. Besides clarity of content and relevance of topic, it is your body language and voice as well as the quality of your slides that matter.

In this seminar you will train your skills in the three core areas of convincing scientific talks – in a safe environment:

I) Prepare Crystal Clear Content

Many scientific presentations suffer from too little clarity and too much content. The result is a lecturer running through slides, losing the audience at the very beginning. You should instead learn to deliver a clear presentation by setting distinct goals, by using a convincing structure, and vivid examples that make your talk immediately understandable and memorable - before you care about your slides. In this training you learn how to do so, step-by-step.

II) Design Proper Slides

Today's leading standard for visualization in scientific presentations is Power-Point: a powerful tool, however, often poorly used. Lecturers frequently try to remind themselves what they wanted to say by reading their own bullets – thereby facing the projection screen instead of their audience. With overfilled, graphically cluttered, visually incoherent slides they try to support their speech. Learn to do better!

III) Be Convincing on Stage - on-site and online

With your body language and spoken word stands or falls your talk. Aside valuable and clear content you must be able to deliver it in a way that motivates your audience to follow you. Many great researchers miss this chance and obligation. You will conduct twice a short talk, receive feedback from your peers, learn from a video recording of your talk, and you will know how to do better, if necessary. You can decide to train either for online or on-site scenarios in each short presentation.


  • You know about the essentials of all three areas
  • You receive individual feedback on your talks
  • You can try out new behavior – in a safe environment
  • You know what you can further improve in future – and how to do so


  • Prepare clear content: audience focus, take home message, etc.
  • How to start and end well
  • Telling a vivid story: Creating Brain Cinema
  • The Six Golden Rules of Slide Design (How many words? How many slides? What background and fonts? …)
  • PowerPoint tech tips (slide masters, Smart Art, etc. No full introduction)
  • Body language: where to put your hands – and other questions
  • Answers to your questions


Mixture of trainer input, practical exercises, participants’ presentations, and dis-cussion. Each participant will conduct a short 3-5 minutes’ presentation twice (an excerpt of a larger one), receive feedback by peers and trainer and learn from a video recording. The presentation will be done standing in front of the laptop, the slides being in front of the presenter on the computer screen, not behind him/her projected at a wall. This procedure has been proven working very well to create high quality feedback even in this online training scenario.


One of my best experiences

Thank you for the amazing course. It was indeed one of my best experiences.
With a simple, vivid as well as professional way you managed to cover all the important topics how to successfully present scientific talks. There are some “secrets of success” that I was not aware.
Definitely, after your guidance I know how to give an excellent talk and my audience go back home happy for deeply understanding the take home message of my presentation.

Dimitra Vlachokosta , PhD student at IGBMC, France - Participant of 2-days Online Presentation Skills Seminar

It would be a pity to let this chance pass!

Matthias Mayer is one of the most dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic instructors I have encountered in any subject in a really long time.

I had the opportunity to attend his 2-day online workshop on scientific presentation. It is easy to see that he not only has an enormous knowledge base in his domain of expertise but also puts his 200% into both producing and delivering the distilled content that he wishes to serve his attendees in the most efficient and effective way possible.

His workshops cover a lot of ground thematically for the allotted time. Nevertheless, despite the intensive nature of his workshops, he manages to give focussed, pointed and transformative feedback to each of the individual participants on all aspects of their presentation, many times, over the course of a single workshop.

This I found extremely helpful in transforming my presentation from good to wow! I also found the external resources he provides his attendees in the form of handouts and videos to be especially thorough and beneficial for future learning.

It is also worth mentioning that despite the fact that our workshop was held entirely over Zoom, the distance was imperceptible.

If I get another chance, I would definitely attend another workshop with Matthias Mayer. It would be a pity if you had the chance and you let it pass.

[after a 2-days online Training on Scientific Presentation]

Manasa M. , Doctoral Student, DESY Hamburg

Have a deeper impact

I took Matthias´ two days online workshop on “Presenting Science”. I had high expectations as I heard good comments about it in previous years; however, I was a bit afraid and not very comfortable with the idea of recording myself and analyze my presentation skills in front of other people. The truth is that during the workshop, I didn´t even think about that. Being a small group, the attention is personalized, the atmosphere is friendly and cozy, giving the opportunity to be helped but also to help others. I can tell that the course is well prepared and structured and that Matthias has a lot of experience in the subject. This workshop is not a one-way talk where the presenter gives tips and the attendees listen, it is a place where opinions, feedbacks, advice and comments go in all directions including among participants. I liked it, I enjoyed it and I found the information useful. I would definitely recommend it to those who wish to have a deeper impact on their scientific presentations.

Mónica Peña Luna , PhD student at IGBMC, France - Participant of 2-days Online Presentation Skills Seminar

I could raise my presentation skills from good to excellent [...] Strongly recommended!

The two-day online course on scientific presentation was really useful for me. [...] I could raise my presentation skills from good to excellent. [...] it worked really well online. [...] Matthias was very engaging and the course was very interactive. [...]

What I found most special about this course is the very individualized feedback that each of us received on multiple aspects of presentation. Recording a video of us while presenting and then watching it and discussing it individually with Matthias was a very unique and useful experience which one rarely ever has when presenting in real life. [...]

I am really looking forward to my next talk [...] Strongly recommended!

Wala Jaser , PhD Student, University of Tübingen - Participant of 2-days Online Presentation Skills Seminar