As some of you may have gathered from my last blogpost, I have a fondness for creating formal opportunities for trainees to gain important skills (the type of skills most of us complain we were never taught during our own training). Not only does this give everyone an advantage, but when your group is small and you still want to have regular meetings, it’s nice to have other educational activities to do as a group so everyone is not presenting their work in lab meeting too frequently. Here’s our latest effort: Elevator Pitch Week! The entire lab will be attending the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting in San Francisco. To prepare them for this awesome networking opportunity, I’m asking everyone to prepare a 1 minute scientific pitch. While the meeting is not until December, I have invited several speakers for our departmental seminar in the intervening months that my lab members will meet and I want them to take full advantage of those opportunities as well. For the pitch, I’ll recommend they do the following:
– introduce themselves (always with their FULL name-thanks @drannecarpenter for highlighting this great tip on Twitter!)
– describe the importance/impact of their scientific question
– state the major finding of their own work to date
– state their scientific “big picture” goal for the future
We’ll then all critique each pitch in lab meeting and help them hone it into a really tight narrative. As always, I invite other labs to join us and tell us about their experiences with this activity. Please also let me know on Twitter (@pracheeac) if you have any other tips for elevator pitches.