Take part in FameLab 2017
Can you talk passionately for three minutes about your science or medical research?If the answer's 'Yes', sign up for the Leiden qualifying round of the FameLab international science competition. Registration is now open.
All young researchers welcome
FameLab is the international science communication competition and is organised by the British Council. Young science and medical students (BSc, MSc, PhD candidates, postdocs), aged from 21 to 40, compete with one another to explain their research so that it can be understood by an audience of non-experts. And they have just three minutes to do it. There are three key aspects to such a short talk: the content (it helps if the subject is interesting), the clarity of your explanation and your personal charisma.
Those taking part in the Leiden qualifying round will have a half-day pitch training on 9 February to help them prepare for the competition.
Masterclass in Media and Science Communication
The winners of the qualifying round will also have a two-day masterclass in Media and Science Communication before taking part in the national final, and possibly getting through to the international final in England.
You can sign up now via this link. The deadline for signing up is 25 January. The Leiden qualifying round will take place on 14 February in the Academy Building.
Ten tips from the jury to get you started
- Think about the beginning and the end - Hook us at the start, and then give us a satisfying ending that leaves us feeling we’ve had a complete journey (it’s nice if it brings the beginning back in some way, but that’s not the only way to end).
- Don’t try to copy somebody else’s style - Go with what works for you.
- Make sure there’s enough science in there - We can learn a lot in three minutes if you tell it well.
- Tell us something you’re excited about… - ...your enthusiasm will shine through.
- Let go of the PowerPoint safety net - Printing your slides onto a t-shirt or, worse, laminated bits of paper reduces you from 3 to 2 dimensions.
- Be in the moment - Acknowledging what’s happening right here, right now (even if it’s something going wrong!) keeps us engaged – and shows you’re confident enough to cope.
- Don’t overdo your introduction - You need to set a scene, give us a moment to grasp who you are and lead into your subject, sure. But you need to do all of that quickly! You haven't really started until the introduction is behind you – keep it punchy.
- Know where you’re going - However much you've slaved over the individual words of your performance, make sure you know the waymarks too: the bullet-points that keep you on track. There are probably around five of them, and the last one will usually be your last line. If that's fixed in your mind then no matter how many of your carefully-honed lines fall apart, you still know how you're going to finish. So that's one less distraction.
- “What will they talk about later?” - What's your piece about? You need to be able to answer that in, say, ten words. Those words need to work when prefixed with "Did you know…" or "I heard this amazing thing today…". Give people memorable nuggets they can use as social currency, it's the best way of spreading ideas around.
- Think theatrically - The impact of a prop can be changed by how it's introduced - is it carried on, picked up, or revealed? Similarly, you can trail your finale, tease it, or reveal it from an unexpected direction. There's no right or wrong here, you have to choose what best suits you and your story. But make sure you choose rather than just letting it happen.