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Giving a Good Talk

People giving presentations often aim to change the minds of their audience, and Nancy Duarte at the Harvard Business Review's Blog Network writes that to do that presenters have to "disarm" their audience. People don't want to change, she says, and presenters can expect resistance on a number of levels, including the logical, emotional, and practical levels, which they should explore prior to giving their talk.

"Anticipating resistance forces you to really think about the people you're presenting to, and that makes it easier to influence them," she writes. "If you've made a sincere effort to look at the world through their eyes, it will show when you speak. … As a result, you'll disarm them, and they'll be more likely to accept your message."

In a separate post in her series on presentations, Duarte also suggests that people giving talks should structure them like a story, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. "That tension helps them persuade the audience to adopt a new mindset or behave differently — to move from what is to what could be," she says.

Additionally, she says that talks should have a focus, one big idea that is the main theme, rather than trying to cram in a number of ideas.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.