Melissa Marshall

Popular TED Speaker Melissa Marshall will visit the University of Iowa campus to deliver three workshops for faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students on February 12, 2020.

Melissa will share effective strategies for presenting your science, rethinking the design of presentation slides, and pitching your work in 60 seconds or less. Register for her workshops.


About Melissa Marshall

Melissa Marshall is on a mission: to transform how scientists present their work. That’s because she believes that even the best science is destined to remain undiscovered unless it’s presented in a clear and compelling way that sparks innovation and drives adoption. For almost a decade, she’s traveled around the world to work with Fortune 100 corporations, institutions and universities, teaching the proven strategies she’s mastered through her consulting work and during her time as a faculty member with the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences at Penn State University.

Attendees at Melissa's workshops receive the practical skills and natural confidence they need to immediately shift their “information dump”-style presentations into ones that are meaningful, engaging, and inspire people to take action. 

For a sneak peek, check out her TED talk, “Talk Nerdy to Me.” It’s been watched by more than one million people (and counting). 

Present Your Science: Transforming Technical Talks*

Melissa's premier half-day presentation covers the full gamut: content strategy, slide design, and presentation delivery. With a dynamic combination of lecture, discussion, video analysis, and exercises, this workshop will truly transform how you present your work.

When: February 12, 8:30am - Noon
Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 328 S. Clinton Street
Registration is required.

*This workshop was not offered during Melissa's last visit to the University of Iowa in 2018.

Pitch Your Research in 60 Seconds*

Have you ever been asked to "tell me a little bit about your work" only to struggle to convey your work in an interesting and meaningful way in a short period or time? Or perhaps someone wanted you to "get to the point" right up front in a presentation? Networking events, conferences, and presentation introductions are just a few examples of scenarios in which it is useful to have a concise, short summary of your research. This interactive and hands-on session will teach you a formula for developing a short pitch about your work to improve conversation and collaboration around your ideas. Expect to leave the session with a fully crafted, revised, and practiced pitch!

When: February 12, 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 328 S. Clinton Street
Registration is required.

*This workshop was not offered during Melissa's last visit to the University of Iowa in 2018.

Lecture for grad students:

Be Better than Bullets: Transforming Slide Design

Using a slide design strategy proven to make technical presentations more understandable, memorable, and persuasive, your team will learn to create better presentation slides using an engaging, assertion-evidence design structure. Through a series of exercises and critiques using their own material, participants will learn the theory behind the structure and how to make immediate improvements.

When: Wednesday, February 12, 7:00 - 8:30pm
Where: 1505 Seamans Center
Target audience: Graduate students and Postdocs
Registration is required.

This workshop is sponsored by the College of Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, IIHR, and the Graduate College.


Melissa Marshall's visit is co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, College of Public Health, College of Engineering, and the Graduate College. Please contact Leslie Revaux (, 319-335-2131) with questions.