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2018 Education-Career Development Session

Perfecting Your “Elevator Speech”



Effectively communicating science to the general public and to experts in the field is a skill that must be mastered in order to build your career. For most individuals, and especially most trainees, orally presenting a seminar or formalized science speech is much easier than giving a brief, two-to-three minute talk about one’s science and its impact on the general public. This “elevator speech,” however, is often the most important talk one will ever give, as you often have to communicate your science in a brief, succinct, and clear fashion in order to convey your message to lay individuals and experts alike. Further, during job interviews, you will not have one hour to talk to every interviewer individually, but, rather, will have to quickly summarize your work in a couple of minutes. This session will provide tips and tricks to deliver your “elevator speech,” which will be useful for your interactions not only at the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, but also in your daily professional (and maybe personal) life. Following a brief introduction, a panel of experts and early-career scientists will provide examples and advice on how to quickly summarize a scientific project into a brief two-to-three minute speech. Following the short panel discussion, a 35-minute “hands-on” session will follow in which the session chairs will facilitate attendees as they perform their two- to three-minute “elevator speeches” in small groups. Five minutes will be allocated to wrap-up the session following the hands-on activity.


Introduction. Joseph Cichocki, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, College Station, TX.

Body Language and First Impressions. Marie Fortin, Alcami Corporation, Piscataway, NJ.

Perfecting Your Pitch: Key Features of an Elevator Speech to Help You Reach the Top Floor. Shaun McCullough, US EPA, Chapel Hill, NC.

What NOT to Do…. Claire Sadler, ApconiX, Alderley Edge, United Kingdom.

Panel Discussion/Q&A. Kathryn Page, The Clorox Company, Pleasanton, CA.

Attendee-Participating and Chair/Presenter-Facilitated Elevator Speech Interactive Activity. Joseph Cichocki, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA; and Kathryn Page, The Clorox Company, Pleasanton, CA.