About Me

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I'm an assistant professor of neuroscience at Washington State University in Vancouver, where I use tiny zebrafish (the size of an eyelash!) as a model system to study human hearing loss and how we can prevent it. I'm also a long-time Toastmaster and I teach communication workshops. This blog represents the merging of my two passions - science and communication, which has really become one central passion - the science of communication. There's a revolution in science right now...the idea that we scientists should sometimes leave the lab and talk about what we do, and why we do it, to real people. This blog looks at why we should do this, and how to actually talk about science with non-scientists (and with each other!). Portions of this blog are also featured on Qualia, the AAAS MemberCenter blog site.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tracking your progress?

I just attended a talk where the speaker had a progress bar at the bottom of each slide.  The bar nicely showed where we were at in the talk, and how long until it was done (or so I thought-some of his “single slides” were really multiple slides built up!). As an audience member, I appreciated the progress bar, but I also found it distracting…when the speaker was explaining some of the more difficult concepts, I found myself staring at the bar, rather than trying to follow his explanation.
     What do you think?  Have you ever tried using a progress bar or some kind of tracker that the audience can see?  Is this device helpful to the audience, or a barrier to communication? I look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Speaking of Executive Presence

By Janine Castro
What is executive presence, other than a very trendy term that has infiltrated into the business lexicon? The best, short definition that I’ve run across is “a strong personal brand” (Susan Bates).  Executive presence is hard to break into components because it is more than a sum of its parts; however, there is general agreement that it is a culmination of appearance, confidence, and voice, but above all, it is authenticity – the quality of being trustworthy and reliable.