Information for Speakers

The How-to Talks Sponsored Session: a kickoff professional development seminar and networking opportunity

The 2021 series will begin with a professional development workshop specifically geared toward our speakers, and open to the VCU community.  This workshop will provide tangible takeaways and strategies for effective science communication.  At the conclusion of the workshop, speakers for the 2021 series will have the opportunity to network with each other and invited past speakers. This time is a great way engage with your fellow VCU postdocs and get tips and tricks for how to make your How-to Talk great.


The Fall 2021 series will be delivered virtually, via Zoom. Please ensure that Zoom is up to date on the device(s) you will be using for your presentation.  Dr. Wahl will schedule the meeting and facilitate during your presentation.

Practice Presentation

Practice presentations will be conducted about 1-2 weeks prior to the scheduled talk. They do not need to be complete. The series coordinators will provide feedback during your practice presentation, and they may decide to use a rubric during their evaluations. If you have any handouts that you are planning to distribute, please email them to beforehand (even if they are in draft form) so that we can provide preliminary feedback on them. If you intend to use your own laptop on the day of your talk, please bring it with you and use it for your practice so that we may address any potential issues.

Recording Your Talk & Technology

Unless you have requested otherwise, we will utilize the Zoom platform to record your session. The recording will be added to YouTube, Kaltura, VCU Scholar’s Compass, and this website to enable wide sharing of your scholarly communication efforts. During our practice session, we will discuss the logistics of presenting and recording in Zoom, to optimize the quality of your recording.

To ensure that your presentation is posted publicly, VCU Libraries recommends using only copyright-free images.  See VCU Libraries’ medical images research guide for tips on finding copyright-free images.

If you choose to present on your research, we highly advise checking with your PI to ensure that s/he is comfortable with the information being presented.

Requested Arrival Time

Please plan to arrive 10  minutes prior to the start of your session to confirm technical logistics.

Evaluation for The VCU Science Communication Award

If you choose to participate in the competition for The VCU Science Communication Award and Prize, you will receive feedback from a three-judge panel who will be present during your talk.  Additional aspects of your presentation, including attendance and attendee evaluations will be factored into your overall evaluation.

After the Talk

The following will be sent to you following your talk:

  • attendee feedback;
  • a survey link so that we can hear about your experience in this series; and
  • a letter of acknowledgement (which will be sent to you after the series ends).

A link to your uploaded presentation will be sent to you when it is available.

The VCU Science Communication Award Reception

The 2021 series will conclude with a reception and award ceremony.  The 2021 speakers will have the opportunity to engage with their advisors, the postdoc community, and interested stakeholders and celebrate their achievements in science communication.  The winner of the 2021 VCU Science Communication Award will be announced at this reception.