Introduction to PG Café Forum Module

Effective communication and presentation of research, both to fellow researchers and to the general public, is an invaluable skill of growing importance.

PG Café Forum is a student-led initiative which creates an informal and relaxed atmosphere in which postgraduate students (taught and research) can share their work, socialize and network. The event is designed to support postgraduates from all disciplines and backgrounds to improve their presentation skills and gain confidence in communicating their topic to a non-specialist audience.

PG Café Forum is a collaboration between PROGRESS (the Postgraduate Society) and Science Brainwaves, and is run by a student committee with support from the University. The concept for this monthly discussion series was inspired by Café Scientifique and TED, which speakers should refer to when planning their talk. See ”Useful Resources” on the navigation bar.

Two to three 15 minute talks are featured per session and cover various disciplines. Ideally the talks will balance the arts and sciences. The casual and inquisitive environment encourages cross-pollination of ideas and lateral thinking. Following each talk, the speaker will entertain a period of questions and answers.

The module is assessed by attendance, through sign-in sheets, and one presentation during the academic year. The presentation will be peer evaluated through audience participation devices focusing on presentation quality, content and speaker enthusiasm. These results are confidential and are sent to the presenter afterwards.

To view dates, venue locations and to reserve a seat or to discuss your upcoming presentation, please visit our website at www.pgcafeforum.co.uk

Presentation guidelines

A 15-minute presentation shall describe the student’s work, including a general introduction to the field as well as to their discipline. This challenge of balancing general context with detailed specifics, and the ability to communicate so much information in a small timeframe, is the goal of the module.

A laptop and projector will be available, and PowerPoint can be used for visual aids but text is to be kept to a minimum. Presenters shall arrive 15 minutes before the event begins to transfer their slides, and should liaise with the PG Café Forum Committee in advance.

To see examples of engaging talks to non-specialist audiences, students may refer to TED and try to attend a Café Scientifique event which is hosted monthly at The Showroom.

In addition to their talk at PG Café Forum, speakers are encouraged to take advantage of the University's GEO facilities (Global Educational Outreach). This involves recording their talk with professional equipment and potentially adding it to the University’s public archives. Recording takes between 15-30 minutes, with support from Eunice Lawton , with whom students can make arrangements. After the recording has been processed, the student will receive it via email. The student has all rights of the recording. If they are happy with it, they can choose to add it to the University’s publicly viewable collection, and can also use it for professional purposes.

Resources:

PG Café Forum

RTP detail

PROGRESS

Science Brainwaves

GEO (Global Educational Outreach

Café Scientifique

TED