Everything you don´t learn in the lab

Convincing & debating

Topic area
Science communication

Online or in-house workshop

4 webinars of 2-2.5 h each = 2 workshop days

Karin Bodewits or Philipp Gramlich 

Target group
PhD students and postdocs


Scientists are often in a situation where they need to discuss their findings or their need for extra funding or resources with other members of the scientific community or with the gen-eral public. Therefore, the ability to express yourself concisely and clearly, using strong ar-guments, is of utmost importance.
This interactive seminar with real-life scenarios, public speaking exercises, argumentation examples and debates will help participants successfully engage in various interactions with other scientists and non-scientists. Your Q&A sessions will never be the same again. You will disarm other people’s arguments against you now that you can look behind their facade. And last but not least, you will win on paper (e.g. research- and grant- proposals)! You will convince your boss to buy this fantastic Mass Spec.


In this course you´ll learn about:


Public speaking

  • Fear of public speaking
  • Establish contact
  • Different group sizes
  • Stylistic figures


Argumentation strategies

  • The right argument for the right audience and setting
  • Scientific proof vs. understandable analogy: get more versatile


Structuring your argumentation

  • Structures for adversarial and neutral audiences
  • Addressing the ‘opponent’ or a third party



  • Learn to challenge the argument
  • Reply to challenges and even attacks

All participants receive a script of the course in PDF format for offline and future use so that they can work through the material offline as well as after the course. 


Interested to read more about being convincing as a scientist? Then you might like our career column No scientists please, originally published in Nachrichten aus der Chemie

This course can be combined with the courses Negotiation and Oral presentation to give the integrated 4-day programme Argumentation and presentation.

Course Flow Online Workshops

Day 1

Live Webinar

  • Kick-off
  • Public speaking settings
  • Setting analysis


  • Individual and group course work (online and offline)
Day 2

Live Webinar

  • Analysing the arguments of the other side
  • Find the fitting argumentation strategy for yourself


  • Individual and group course work (online and offline)
Day 3

Live Webinar

  • How do your arguments fit into an overall argumentative structure?


  • Individual and group course work (online and offline)
Day 4

Live Webinar

  • Direct interactions and debates
  • Individual and group course work (online and offline)
Weeks 2-3

Individual written or oral feedback from the instructor


Would you like to use your powers of persuasion directly to advance socially relevant issues? Then take a look at our workshop Politics, Society, Science: Make an impact.


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