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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

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.