Improvisation for Researchers

Most of us associate “improv” with standup comics. But think again: researchers in science, engineering, and medicine are learning to hone their communication skills using the same theater techniques that teach great performers how to reach — and hold — an audience.

About Improvisation for Researchers

The purpose of improvisation as a practice is to teach performers to connect with their audience, think on their feet, and respond in the moment. Using techniques developed by Alan Alda at the Alda Center for Communicating Science, this innovative five-week workshop uses a blend of improvisation exercises and guidance from experts in communicating science to help you talk about your work vividly, clearly, and without jargon. Though the focus is on communicating with broad audiences, our students find that this workshop improves their ability to present their work to colleagues as well.

Peer feedback is an essential component of this series; participants will engage in exercises to develop their skills in storytelling and two-way communication.

Please do not apply unless you can attend all classes.

This workshop has been adapted for Dartmouth grad students and postdocs by Nancy Serrell, Helena Binder, and Cindy Tobery, your co-facilitators for the series.

The Today Show did a segment on the Alda Center and courses for graduate students and postdocs like our workshop.

Dartmouth is an affiliate of the Alan Alda Center for Science Communication.