Science in a nutshell – the heart of a chalk talk

Aim:To plan and practise delivering a short scientific talk using a white-board or flipchart as the only visual aid - no powerpoint!
Provider: Elinor Thompson
For:Mid-career & senior: scientists and support staff. Year 3 or 4 PhD students.

This course will help scientists and support staff hone their story so that they can communicate it crisply and clearly, without using power-point.

Participants will:

• Identify the essential elements of their talk
• Structure those elements in an effective way for oral delivery
• Explore ways to spark audience interest through story-telling
• Expand visual vocabulary so that whiteboard use is clear and creative
• Practise delivering a short, pithy and engaging talk

Study commitment:

Participants should come to the workshop with an idea for a 4-minute talk about a programme of scientific work, or a current/recent scientific research or management project (see the pdf with more information for details). On confirmation of registration you will be asked to submit a short summary of this idea.


Elinor Thompson is an educator and consultant, with a background in clinical medicine and public health. She is founder director and strategic advisor of the PRBB Intervals programme, coordinator of the PRBB Good Scientific Practice group and has worked in the professional development of scientists and health professionals for 20 years.

Dates: Place/time: Capacity: State:  
Next edition in Autumn 2020

Please note that an advanced level of conversational English is essential.
This course is for mid-career and senior staff - predocs please indicate in the "reasons for attending the course" field in which year of your PhD you are.

For any questions or comments please email

Finished editions:

3rd December 2019