I've been lucky enough to be involved in the improvisational comedy community for the past three years here in Iowa City. While participating in improv, I've been able to study it deeper and understand how effective a tool it is in improving communication skills. I found inspiration in Alan Alda's improv workshops at Stony Brook, and I thought that using improv as a source for helping undergraduates to spruce up their research presentations would be both entertaining and incredibly helpful.
There are multitudes of amazing research projects going on here at Iowa, but these projects are often lost to people who are not part of the scientific community. I wanted this workshop to help researchers gain skills that would allow them to show off their presentations to any audience. I didn't want technical jargon to be a barrier to any audience, and I didn't want any topic to be seen as dull. So, I targeted undergraduates and graduate students that were participating in research here at Iowa, to help them improve their presentation skills to a non-research based audience.
Copyright © 2016 Cara Larson
Larson, Cara, "Improv for Researchers" (2016). Latham Science Communication Project. 3.