Whether you're introducing colleagues to initiatives, giving a plenary session at a scientific conference, or trying to convince investors to fund your research, your presentation skills can mean the difference between success and failure. You already know your material - that's why you're giving a presentation in the first place. But a presentation is more than just data. "The biggest impact you have on your audience is actually the delivery," says Lisa Marshall, managing director of the science-based communications training company, an Edge, based in Haddon Heights, NJ.

A good presentation makes you an effective business leader and a scientist better able to communicate your work to peers. A ho-hum presentation means people check out, literally or mentally, emphasizes Susan Morris, president of the Langhorne, Pa.-based Morris Consulting Group, a communications training firm for pharmaceutical clients. Both Morris and Marshall work with clients on the content, organization, and delivery of...

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