Academic Workshops

Presenting & Rhetorical Skills

Effective English-language presentations are an indispensable part of today's international academic world. From short updates within a research team, through presentations at conferences, to defending one’s master's or PhD thesis: it is important to be convincing in a wide range of situations and on different platforms. In addition to well-founded content, the recipe for success is, above all, self-confidence and a sound command of the English language and the good news is that both these skills can be trained!
Our experienced trainers conduct all workshops in English or German. Get to know our Communication Trainers and our Academic Coaches

"Well, it seems that I am approaching my goal - to be able to promote my science in the community.
Thank you so much for helping me!”  
Senior Postdoctoral Scientist, LMU

"Three generations of doctoral researchers of our DFG Research Training Group RTG 1743 have been trained by Martin Hooper, intercom Hamburg, how to present scientific results to different audiences. The workshops have always been excellent and fit to the needs of the young scientists". 
Eike Zell, DFG Research Training Group 1743/2
 Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (IKMB), Kiel University

Contact Us
Tel. 040 46 88 22 47

Download Workshop Description PDF

Content of the Workshop

  • Ingredients of effective academic presentation
  • Visualization techniques
  • Establishing a relationship with the audience (avoiding "the curse of knowledge!")
  • Learning to use rhetorical tools, in order
    • to ensure an effective start ("The first 90 seconds")
    • to achieve a successful build-up of tension
    • to interest, guide and convince the audience
  • Rhetorical questions and techniques, such as "tripling" (the rule of three), "machine-gunning" or "dramatic pausing"
  • Using one’s voice optimally
  • Dealing with stage fright
  • Mastering difficult situations in a foreign language, e.g. responding confidently to interposed questions and objections and returning to the topic
  • The path to professional academic presentation includes, among others,
    • individual presentations, 3-minute rhetorical talks, spontaneous presentations, poster presentations etc.
    • Analysis of the participants’ contributions by means of video recordings including feedback (only in the 2-day workshops) 
    • Discussion and analysis of presentation footage 

Required English Language Skills

CEF level B1 / B2 or above
We offer a short online test to ascertain the respective language level of the participants. This is helpful but not a must.

Target Group: Undergraduates or PhD students who wish to become more self-confident and impactful when giving presentations in an international setting.

Number of Participants: Up to 10 participants

Duration: 1 - 2 days


This workshop provides  participants with the most important ingredients to confidently give English language presentations that command attention. The focus is on proficient language fluency, the use of practice-oriented communication techniques, rhetorical skills and nonverbal communication. Participants become more confident, which in turn increases their success in reaching their audience.

"First, this time I was practically not nervous during my presentations! The loud practicing with a presenter in hands makes a huge and decisive difference!
It also helped me to remember a correct pronunciation of words that I was training with George. Secondly, I can feel that the story I was presenting has been well digested and accepted by the audience. I saw that people get the message, even those, who are not in the same field. Apparently, I managed – with your help! – to build up a clear story, in terms of both visuals and text. I even dare to think that my presentation was the most popular on the last meeting: people had lots of questions after the talk, came afterwards with some ideas to discuss, and some just came to say that it was an excellent presentation. 

Well, it seems that I am approaching my goal - to be able to promote my science in the community. Thank you so much for helping me!”

Senior Postdoctoral Scientist, LMU