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Preparing Podcasts, Shortening Abstracts, and Creating Science Videos

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By Barbara Gastel | Dec. 3, 2017  |

Greetings again. I hope you’ve had a good month.

As you may recall, last month’s post regarded an American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) conference. The post featured tips from a session on preparing posters.

Near the end of the post, I mentioned some other interesting, useful sessions. Then, in a comment on the post, a researcher requested tips from these sessions. The current post presents some such tips.

One session that I mentioned was on preparing podcasts. A tip was to stand when recording podcasts, so your voice is more energetic. Other tips regarded interviewing guests: To help everyone prepare, meet with the guests by phone in advance. However, don’t say exactly what questions will be asked, as doing so prevents spontaneity.

Another session was on shortening abstracts, for example to meet word-count requirements. Tips included avoiding pompous language, using strong verbs and active voice, eliminating needless repetition, and phrasing items concisely. The session included examples to illustrate the tips. It also included advice on other aspects of writing abstracts. Many of the tips also apply to shortening other writing.

A third session regarded preparing science videos. Tips included the following: Obtain ideas by watching good science videos, such as those from TED-Ed. To increase downloads, give your videos engaging titles, accompanied by vivid images. Show drafts of your videos to others for feedback.

Handouts or slides from some of these sessions (and from some other sessions at the conference) are openly accessible. I’m grateful to the speakers who shared these materials, and I thank AMWA for posting this resource.

Until next month—


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