Melissa Marshall

On March 29-30, 2018, Melissa Marshall will visit the University of Iowa campus to deliver three workshops for faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Melissa will share effective strategies for rethinking the design of presentation slides, incorporating compelling visual aids, and presenting science to the public. 


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). 



Lecture for grad students:

Bullets Kill: 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: Thursday, March 29, 6:30-8:00pm
Where: 1505 Seamans Center
Target audience: Graduate students and Postdocs
Registration is required.

This workshop is sponsored by the College of Engineering and the Graduate College.


Workshop #1:

Show Your Science: Visual Aids for Technical Talks

Looking for improved and practical slide design strategies that go way beyond killing your audience’s interest with bullet point after bullet point? This workshop takes a deep dive into the world of slide design and challenges the status quo of boring, text heavy slides with innovative, research-based strategies for more effective and engaging visual aids. Working with their own material, participants will learn a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of slides and they will learn innovative new strategies for showing their science to their audience with exciting slide design. WARNING: This workshop results in dramatically improved slides and participants who will never think about or design slides in the same way ever again!

When: Fri., March 30, 8:30-11:30 am
Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 328 S. Clinton Street
Audience:  Faculty and staff
Registration is required.



Workshop #2:

Talk Nerdy to Me: Presenting Your Science to the Public

Talking to the general public about your science can be tricky—How much can you assume they know? How much detail should you share? How can you get them excited about your topic? If these questions sound familiar, this workshop is for you. You will learn proven strategies that will improve your content, slides and delivery so that you can more easily engage a general audience. This is an interactive workshop where you’ll participate in group exercises, analyze video examples and then practice the techniques you’ve learned using your own work.

When: Fri., March 30, 1:00-4:00 pm
Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 328 S. Clinton Street
Audience: Faculty and staff
Registration is required.



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