Communicate to non-academic audiences

Communication is one of those areas where reading and watching will only get you so far - the way to get better is to practise.

Improve your presentation and communication skills

Look out for any opportunities to present to others, within your course (for taught postgraduates) or within your research group.

You may also have the chance to attend presentation skills training, either as part of your researcher development training (for doctoral researchers - see the Training Catalogue on eProg) or within your taught course.

If there are no convenient courses you could attend, try organising your own programme.

  • Get together with a group of friends or other students who also want to improve their presentations.
  • Look at the resources below to remind yourself of the basics of presentations.
  • Prepare and deliver a short presentation, making it clear who the intended audience is.
  • Ask for feedback from the rest of the group.
  • Repeat, so that everyone in the group has the chance to present, get feedback and learn from each other.

Interviews and Assessment

You may be asked to deliver a presentation as part of the assessment process, such as:

  • an academic lecture for an academic or teaching job;
  • a pre-prepared talk on the employer or your subject for an interview day;
  • a presentation based on an exercise undertaken as part of an assessment centre.

Help with presentations as part of assessment.

Share your passion for your subject

Public engagement is a core part of what we do at The University of Manchester, from Professor Brian Cox and Dr Tim O'Brien bringing physics to life on the television, to undergraduates working with local schools to encourage pupils to think about coming to university.

The website, Public and Community Engagement at Manchester, is dedicated to promoting opportunities for you to engage with the public, including news, events, case studies and advice.

Widening participation

Many students are involved in activities with local schools, including Student Ambassadors, Widening Participation Fellows (current research students) and Gateway mentors. These activities are coordinated within Schools and Faculties. See your School or Faculty administration team for the appropriate contact point.

Become part of your local community

Beyond the University is the vibrant cosmopolitan community of Manchester. If you volunteer with local community organisations, it can:

  • improve your communication, social and other skills;
  • introduce you to people for whom a PhD or Masters postgraduate is an alien concept (this is your chance to prove to them that postgrads are people too!)
  • give you a different perspective on your subject or your research and may trigger new ideas;
  • be enjoyable!
  • Volunteering Resources to support volunteers and database of voluntary opportunities
  • Student Action Volunteer opportunities run through the Students' Union
  • Do-it National database of volunteer opportunities, filterable by location, time available etc.