The Alda Center Industry Initiative — March 24, 2016

The Alda Center Industry Initiative is for scientists, engineers and other technical professionals in industry who want to become better at communicating about their work with varied audiences, including clients, corporate leaders, marketing personnel, policy makers and colleagues in other disciplines.

Companies are invited to send scientists and engineers to participate in an innovative one-day workshop, March 24, 2016 at Stony Brook University on Long Island.

The cost is $825 per person.

To download the agenda for this workshop, please click here.

To sign up for the one-day workshop, please register here.

Companies can also arrange workshops tailored to their needs and held in their own locations.

To request more information on the Alda Center Industry Initiative, please click here.
To download the Industry Initiative brochure, please click here.

An Invitation from Alan Alda

What We Offer

Since 2010, the Alda Center has led workshops for hundreds of scientists in universities, national laboratories, federal agencies and scientific professional groups. Now we are offering our services to professionals in corporate settings.

Improvisation for Scientists
The centerpiece of the Alda Center’s workshops, this session adapts improvisation exercises used in theater training to help scientists be more attentive, effective and dynamic communicators. Distinct from what is commonly thought of as improvisation in acting or comedy, the session’s activities are specially designed to help scientists express themselves more directly and spontaneously, and become more finely tuned to the people they are trying to engage, whether speaking one-on-one or before an audience.

Distilling Your Message
This session focuses on how to talk clearly, vividly and conversationally about complex science to a variety of audiences without “dumbing it down.” Conducted in small workgroups with one or two instructors, these sessions are highly interactive and provide an opportunity to receive personal and valuable direction. They also provide an opportunity to become more familiar with the techniques used for effectively distilling a message, from the elements of storytelling to remaining focused on the goal of an interaction.

Media Interview Skills
On-camera training provides instruction and practice in conveying concisely the heart of your message while responding to sometimes unpredictable questions in relaxed or high-pressure situations. Conducted in small workgroups, this session also allows for personal, one-to-one coaching from the Center’s instructors, along with valuable feedback from peers attending the session.

Optional Specialized Sessions

      • Speaking with policy-makers: This session focuses on the dynamics when visiting a legislator’s office and communicating effectively about your field. Led by an instructor with experience working in, or with, legislative offices in Washington, D.C., the session is highly interactive, inviting participants to take part in one-on-one exercises and mock presentations.
      • Dealing with the media: This session focuses on understanding how the media operate and how science leaders can influence coverage and build productive relationships with journalists and new-media practitioners. This session, led by an experienced journalist, includes active participation in scenarios tailored to the participants’ needs. The Center’s preparation includes consultation with the host institution’s communications office.
      • Advanced interview training: This highly individualized session provides instruction, practice and coaching for specific communication challenges, such as explaining risk or responding to hostile questions, as well as preparation for specific planned or anticipated media encounters.