Vitae SE Hub Speakeasy! Public speaking workshop for researchers, 13th June, Kent

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This is a workshop for researchers (postgraduate or research staff) in the South East. There is a strict limit of 25 places at this workshop. Once it is full a reserve list will operate. The workshop is free, though you must register with Vitae here. If you have any queries, please contact Ross on

Wednesday 13th June, 09:30 – 17:30, University of Kent

Clear, effective and professional communication skills are absolutely essential to any academic. While researchers are taught essential research skills, less emphasis is placed on learning how to communicate their research effectively either in the lecture hall or in the seminar room. Speakeasy, a public-speaking training organisation, is a one-day workshop on the art of public speaking. Organised by a historian and a professional actor, the Speakeasy workshop is specifically geared towards researchers at the start of their career. Drawing on professional acting skills and techniques, our one-day course addresses the following issues:

  • How to be an effective communicator in the lecture theatre, seminar room or in the conference hall.
  • How to get your message across, keep your audience engaged and actually enjoy the experience.
  • Voice projection, posture, body language and how to calm your nerves.
  • Different modes of communication: how to lead seminars, chair conferences and conduct a Q&A.
  • Techniques for presenting, how to deliver complex ideas and personalise your style of delivery.
  • Methods of communication: how to use PowerPoint, present a poster and ‘how to think on your academic feet’.

Note on the workshop leaders:

Liza Filby is a historian based at King’s College, London. She was formerly Chair of the History Lab, the Institute of Historical Research’s national postgraduate network and editor of Vitae’s GradBritain. She has six years experience in running peer-based training workshops for PhD students.

Steven Clarke is a professional actor who trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He has worked extensively on stage, film and TV and has just returned from making his stage debut on Broadway. Steven has led training sessions on public speaking for both private and public sector organisations.

Reviews of previous Speakeasy workshops:

  • ‘A very, very good day – far exceeded expectations in terms of how useful it has been – thank you!’
  • ‘Great! Very passionate people, very useful!’
  • ‘The session made me realise the importance of public speaking as a tool of professional development and career advancement’
  • For a review of one workshop by History Lab organiser Amelia Nel go to:

Course requirements

All attendees are required to bring along with them a printed copy of 150 words on/about their research – this could be part of a chapter, paper etc. but not your original PhD research proposal. Please also make sure that you wear loose comfortable clothing; don’t be scared by this, no crazy stunts involved!


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