Professional Communication

How to Communicate Successfully, Creating High Quality Relationships

For up to 14 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, in German or English

2 days – online or on-site

Trainer: Dr. Matthias Mayer

Your Benefit

To be successful in your PhD, postdoc or any other professional context in future, excellent communication skills are indispensable. It applies to discussions with supervisors, project members, colleagues, to scientific presentations or job interviews, to dialogues with superiors, subordinates, or clients. Often, our communication is suffering from misunderstandings, unclarity, missing openness, and the inability to address conflicts.

You will learn how to prepare and conduct difficult conversations. You will learn to assess the effects of different behaviours. You will find out how you come across to others and how you can further improve your current communicative skills.


  • Extension and improvement of individual communicative abilities
  • Awareness of own communication styles and preferences
  • Ability to give, receive, and use feedback
  • Ability to understand and apply important communication models and strategies
  • Exercises, exchange, and feedback sessions with other participants


  • Understanding and applying basic models and strategies
  • Communicating clearly: The Four-Sides-Model by Schulz von Thun
  • Responding appropriately: The Four-Ears-Model
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • The art of active listening
  • Criticise effectively: I- versus You-messages
  • The influence of body language
  • Preparing and leading difficult conversations
  • Dealing with emotions of yourself and your counterpart
  • Learning from other participants' feedback on your appearance
  • Discussing real situations from your contexts


Trainer input; self-reflection; individual, partner, and group exercises; role plays; mutual feedback amongst participants; brief presentations by participants; group reflection. Also, the online version is very interactive, use of breakout sessions, participants are actively involved.


What luck to be offered a place in his energetic courses

I had the pleasure of taking the 2-day “Professional Communication” and the 2-day “Leadership Skills” courses offered by Matthias [...]

At no point did I feel I was lacking any opportunity to ask questions or offer responses, to him or to the other participants. [...]

we were encouraged to send our goals and wishes for the course beforehand to help him tailor the course to us personally. I felt supported and considered throughout, and came away with valuable tips and methods that I would not have easily come across otherwise. [...]

What luck to be offered a place in his energetic courses, I am definitely looking forward to taking more in the future!

Xiulin Ng , Doctoral Student, University of Freiburg - Participant of two of our 2-days online Seminars: Professional Communication & Leadership Skills

Be ready to fail!

Leadership workshop with Matthias Mayer

Two intense days with basic information combined with group work and time to think about your colleagues and yourself. Matthias gave a full picture about the tasks of a leader and advices how to be a good one.

It was very important for me to understand my own personality, which leadership skills I already bring with me and where I need to work harder. I really liked the discussions and input we got about how to give constructive criticism and how to manage conflicts. My personal main statements I take from the workshop are:
*Leadership is hard work, therefore never stop reflecting yourself, give and receive feedback and keep learning. Motivate your co-workers in an individual and personalized way. And most importantly, be ready to fail!*

Thank you very much Matthias for your helpful and clear guidance to become a good leader.
I am looking forward to improve my skills and to come back to my workshop notes when I am struggling.

[after participating in a 2-day online leadership training]

Dr. Sandra Ammann , Uniklinik Freiburg

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