Attention please! – Presenting successfully at conferences and other scientific contexts

Academia Raetica

General information and fee

  • Lecturer: Michael Berndonner, speech scientist, rhetoric-trainer and vocal coach

  • Language: English

  • Target audience: primarily PhD students, open to other interested scientists

  • Course fee for participants from Academia Raetica member or partner institutions: CHF 150

  • External participants: CHF 250

  • Max. number participants: 12 (min. number participants 8)

  • Our terms and conditions

  • Course Coordinator: Daniela Heinen,, phone 081 410 60 84

  • Credit points: This training requires 16 hours of attendance plus ca. 3 hours for preparation and homework. Please check with your supervisor at your university, if the course counts towards ECTS.

  • Course certificate: You will receive a certificate of attendance, if you attend the entire course.

Course outline

Successful communication in oral presentations is essential in academia. Talks, panel discussions, PowerPoint-slides and poster presentations shape how colleagues and the public perceive you and your research. How you present your research and yourself can ‘make or break’ the success of a grant application, a job opportunity or a collaboration down the line.

In this seminar we elaborate together the critical success factors for impactful speeches in an academic context. You will receive feedback and will train based on that feedback. The course is a great way opportunity to prepare for the conference "Graubünden forscht 2022".


The participants expand their action options in presenting of scientific content and reflect their way of public speaking in general and presenting scientific content in particular.

The participants experience and train,

  • how to express orally scientific methodology, processes, results and insights in a clear and adequate simple, systematic, stringent and entertaining way.

  • how to maintain attention and interest of the audience with radical listener centricity.

  • the use of rhetorical and vocal means for scientific speeches.

The way to reach the objectives and outcomes

Your trainer and coach moderates and initializes...

  • general and individual feedback for each participant.

  • training and personal improvement, based on the feedback-process. 

  • to gently nudge you out of your comfort-zone.

And all that: with a lot of fun and joy in presenting

About the trainer

Michael´s answer, being asked, what is the key factor for an impactful speech: "Passion, enthusiasm, courage. Not perfection."

Michael is a trainer and coach with body and soul. His experience as a speaker and moderator on stage, but also as a speech scientist, makes his seminars challenging and lively. With his unshakable belief in the power of passion and enthusiasm in people, he gives his participants access to public speaking that they may not have experienced before.

Michael teaches and trains at the Universities of Zürich and St. Gallen. He is a guest speaker at the Universities of Bern, Luzern and at the FH Graubünden. He coaches and trains in companies in Switzerland, Germany and Georgia.


 "I wanted to thank you, because your practical advice has worked wonders - not only at this lecture, but also the lecture in […] that had this one postponed. […] the very concrete energy exchange with the audience is quite an amazing feeling, and one I only got by directly applying your advice, never before! […] So, thank you very much. You are an excellent teacher, and you teach a very helpful, essential life skill.” (Irene, PD Dr., University of Zurich, April 2022)

Image by G. Altmann / Pixabay

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