+44(0)208 9952500 karen.stancombe@lionsdencommunications.com LionsDen Communications Lionsden medical John Clare

The 7 Deadly Sins revisited

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I'm John Clare and I've been coaching people all over the world to make scientific presentations from more than 20 years.

For today’s tip I’m returning to the topic of structuring your talk:

Start broad

Go narrow

End broad

This technique overcomes a common problem:

Some expert presenters jump straight into the detail, with no orientation to help the audience adjust to the topic.  Starting broad means you introduce the topic, in its broadest sense, before quickly getting into the detail. Here’s an example from a presentation I saw this week:

When I was a GP I saw many patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease…Ulcerative Colitis and Chron’s Disease. It was very painful for them, and to be honest I was acutely aware that the treatments were far from ideal. I could prescribe drugs that damped down the inflammation in the gut that was causing the problem, but they also affected inflammation elsewhere in the body. That caused side effects which themselves were sometimes quite severe.

Now I’m happy to say that we’ve moved on from that. We now have drugs that specifically target the inflammation in the gut, so, we hope, reducing the side effects. I want to talk now about one of these new drugs….

A great start, with a broad introduction to why there is a need for new drugs to treat IBD, then quickly into a detailed description of one of them. The word ‘quickly’ is key here. You don’t need to spend much time on the broad introduction.

The same presenter ended his talk by referring back to the opening, and his time as a GP:

So what I hope we have now got is a treatment that when use appropriately will free up patients from the pain of IBD without the side effects of the older treatments…and that my successor as a GP in that practice will feel better equipped.


There is much more on this and similar topics in my book Communicating Clearly about Science and Medicine:

http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9781409440383

Over the last 20 years I have helped to prepare thousands of scientists, physicians and pharmaceutical executives for major presentations, media interviews and regulatory hearings.

Find out more here: http://www.lionsdencommunications.com

If you have a particular question or a topic you would like me to address, please email me: John.clare@lionsdencommunications.com

If you have colleagues who would benefit from these tips, please send them the link to my free e-book, The 7 Deadly Sins of Scientific Presentations (and how to avoid them).



http://www.lionsdencommunications.com/download-free-book

Thanks for dropping in.

If you have colleagues who would benefit from these tips, please send them the link to my free e-book, The 7 Deadly Sins of Scientific Presentations (and how to avoid them).



http://www.lionsdencommunications.com/download-free-book