Research in Action

Research in Action is a weekly podcast about topics and issues related to research in higher education from experts across a range of disciplines. Episodes are posted weekly and include guest interviews and occasional solo episodes. Guests are from a range of higher education institutions and share their expertise on qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods as well as their personal experiences as researchers; research and writing practices; organizational and productivity strategies; and much more. Some weeks, bonus content is also posted. Research in Action is hosted by Dr. Katie Linder, the research director for Oregon State University Ecampus. Show notes with information regarding topics discussed in each episode, as well as the transcript for each episode, can be found at the Research in Action website at There are several ways to connect with the Research in Action podcast. Visit to post a comment about a specific episode, suggest a future guest, or ask a question that could be featured in a future episode. You can also offer feedback about Research in Action episodes or share research-related resources by contacting the podcast via Twitter @RIA_podcast using the hashtag #ria_podcast or emailing Finally, you can call the Research in Action voicemail line at 541-737-1111 to ask a question or leave a comment. The Research in Action podcast is a resource funded by Oregon State University Ecampus – ranked one of the nation’s best providers of online education with more than 40 degree programs and over 1,000 classes online. Learn more about Ecampus by visiting This podcast is produced by the Ecampus Multimedia team.
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Feb 20, 2017

On this episode, I am joined by Michael Alley. Holding a master of science in electrical engineering and a master of fine arts in writing, Michael Alley is an associate professor of engineering communication at Penn State.  He is the author of The Craft of Scientific Presentations (Springer, 2013), which has been translated into Japanese and Chinese. Over the past decade, he has taught presentations to scientists and engineers on four continents, in sixteen countries, and at more than 150 institutions. He has presented at Google, MIT, Harvard Medical School, Texas Instruments, Simula Research Laboratory (Norway), Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and the European Space Organization in the high desert of Chile. Alley’s websites on presentations are top Google listings for the topics of "engineering presentations" and "scientific presentations".

Transcript (.docx)

Show Notes

Would you like to incorporate this episode of "Research in Action" into your course? Download the Episode 47 Instructor Guide (.docx) or visit our Podcast Instructor Guides page to find additional information and past episode guides.

Segment 1: Best Practices for Scientific Presentations [00:00-09:35]

In this first segment, Michael shares some of what he has learned about making effective research presentations.

Segment 2: Investigations on Confidence in Speaking [09:36-16:25]

In segment two, Michael discusses how researchers can be more confident as presenters.

Segment 3: Rethinking the Way We Use PowerPoint [16:26-30:55]

In segment three, Michael shares some of his thoughts on PowerPoint and best practices for using the tool.

Bonus Clip #1 [00:00-02:48]: Tips for Presenting to Non-scientists

Bonus Clip #2 [00:00-06:39]: The Four Aces for Projecting Confidence

To share feedback about this podcast episode, ask questions that could be featured in a future episode, or to share research-related resources, contact the “Research in Action” podcast:

Twitter: @RIA_podcast or #RIA_podcast


Voicemail: 541-737-1111

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