Carnegie Mellon University

Communication Practice

Every other week throughout the semester, we'll meet to practice skills for talking about research in real-time settings. The exercises will prepare you for everything from fielding questions from reporters to giving public talks to just chatting with someone you met at the bar.

We'll be meeting every other week; on the intervening weeks the blogging club will meet.


Examples of practice exercises

Practice Q&A

Give a 1- to 2-minute introduction to what you do. Other students ask you questions, then give you feedback at the end.

Media Interview Roleplay

Take turns with a partner acting as reporter and interviewee. Interview each other for a few minutes each, then give feedback.

Presentation Delivery Exercises

Present briefly to a small group and a facilitator. The facilitator helps identify a public speaking element most in need of improvement, then has you speak again with a modification designed to help you in that area.

Adapting to your audience

Answering Curveball Questions

During talks or media interviews, you will be asked questions that are intended to throw you off, or make a statement you don't intend. We'll practice some techniques to help steer the conversation in the right direction.