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Listen. Write. Present.

Listen. Write. Present.: The Elements for Communicating Science and Technology

Stephanie Roberson Barnard
Deborah St James
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Listen. Write. Present.
    Book Description:

    Even the best ideas have little value if they are not explained clearly, concisely, and convincingly to others. Scientists, engineers, health care professionals, and technology specialists become leaders in their fields not just by way of discovery, but by communication. In this essential book, two seasoned communication consultants offer specific, focused advice to help professionals develop, improve, and polish their interpersonal communication, writing, and presentation skills. The authors explain exactly how to manage multiple projects and interactions, collaborate with colleagues and others, gain support for ideas through presentations and proposals, and much more.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-17791-6
    Subjects: General Science, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Rodolfo Chaij

    For scientists, communication should be about getting through to people, helping them understand the importance of the concept, and putting the idea in terms that are scientifically correct but also, and equally important, comprehensible to a variety of audiences.

    Communication is one of the most complex processes that happen among human beings. Taking it for granted or not paying enough attention to its intricacies is one of the most frequent mistakes that scientists make. There is a whole field on communication theory devoted to unlock, expose, and improve the way we communicate. From the theories of Ferdinand de Saussure about...

  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  5. 1 Plan
    (pp. 1-8)

    Let’s begin with a story. Mark (not his real name) was a highly successful sales representative in a major biotech company. This “Rookie of the Year” had a PhD in biochemistry, dynamic people skills, a great drug portfolio, and a ripe territory. His sales figures were smashing, and he won the highest accolade in pharmaceutical sales, The President’s Club award, where he and his peers were honored at a fancy dinner with all of the company executives. Mark was delighted to share his talents with the leadership team and, after several drinks, approached the company president to explain why he...

  6. 2 Listen
    (pp. 9-17)

    Stop, look, listen. Where have you heard these instructions before? It was when you took driver’s education and learned about railroad tracks. The long stretches of metal tracks seem harmless until a speedy locomotive zooms by on them. There’s a reason this slogan sticks: it’s sage advice packed into a nifty three-verb phrase. Stop, look, listen. You can avoid a catastrophic collision with a train if you heed this advice.

    Listening seems like such a simple task that everyone must be good at it. On the contrary, listening requires more than ears; you have to use your brain. Think about...

  7. 3 Write
    (pp. 18-67)

    Today we’re overwhelmed with written communication. Our main goal is to get rid of it. Deleting brings us a sense of accomplishment. As a result, if you want to get your written message across, you must be clear, concise, and well organized. Written communication is everywhere: text messages, emails, blogs, tweets, and, of course, letters, proposals, and reports. Despite all of this written communication (or perhaps because of it), many people struggle to pull together thoughtful documents. Writing helps you gather, sort, and express ideas. Through this process, writing also helps you develop critical thinking skills that enable you to...

  8. 4 Present
    (pp. 68-117)

    Presenting is more than standing up in front of a crowd to give a talk. We present ourselves every day to everyone we encounter. From the moment you approach your workplace to the time you leave, you’ll likely communicate with many different people, in many different ways. The most influential way you communicate is face-to-face, meaning how you present yourself and your ideas.¹

    It’s no accident that this chapter is one of the longest in this book. We cover a lot of important skills here: communicating effectively in one-on-one interactions, organizing and delivering presentations, learning to design slides, and answering...

  9. 5 Meet
    (pp. 118-138)

    For many people, an upcoming meeting is simply a deadline to complete a piece of a project such as gathering data, making phone calls, and doing research. Leaders in science, technology, and medicine understand that preparing for a meeting is a great time for critical thinking and attending a meeting is a great time to collaborate, negotiate, and build support for projects.

    Have you ever noticed that the people who have the most success leading others appear extremely well organized? This is no coincidence. People who manage big projects understand the value of time and money, especially when the time...

  10. 6 Serve
    (pp. 139-170)

    To date, Amy had known nothing but success her whole life. At twenty-four, she had earned a PhD with honors in biochemistry. Following that, she was awarded a coveted two-year fellowship at a prestigious university. From there, she was hired as a medical liaison specialist (MSL) for a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company, each year receiving “Exceeds Expectations” or “Outstanding” on her performance reviews. The company, recognizing Amy’s potential, happily paid for her to attend an Executive MBA program. At the age of thirty, with a PhD and an MBA in hand, Amy was given a gem of a promotion: Director...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 171-176)
  12. Recommended Resources
    (pp. 177-180)
  13. Index
    (pp. 181-197)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 198-199)