KUDOS AT ACS: Spicing up a presentation on polymer architecture earned rave reviews for Cornell grad student Portia Yarborough.
Her friend's comment: "Boring."
What Yarborough had forgotten was enthusiasm. It's a common mistake, communications specialists say. In the worst cases, researchers simply read from transparencies, piling monotone fact upon fact. Another frequent gaffe is information overload. Cramming too much material into a talk, scientists either saunter past the time limit or speak too quickly. Jargon, too, foils many a presentation. And cluttered visuals-such as posters or transparencies-bury main messages in a sea of prose.
LEARNED STYLE: "Everyone...