Science Riot

Workshops

This will be you.

Don't Panic!

Workshop Overview

Our program is an immersive, intensive experience in comedy writing and performance that takes you from the laboratory to stage-ready in three weeks.

Our science communication syllabus was developed with assistance from University College London, professional comedians, and feedback from hundreds of science professionals like you - and so far, nobody has bombed. We that a humor-based approach can work for all personality types and subjects, even if you're convinced you or your topic aren't funny.

This program builds cumulatively over three weeks as you write a talk and build confidence in front of normal people. While we do incorporate some elements of improvisation, our training emphasis is "late-night" comedy presentation which is deeply rooted in the stand-up tradition. We won't make you become a comedian, but you will be able to make a room laugh and learn.

Public Speaking

You will meet once per week for an in-person lesson with your cohort of about eight science professionals. Together, you will practice basic skills in public speaking, projecting confidence, practice your talk, and receive feedback from our comedy coaches. If you miss a lesson or need extra instruction, our team can host one-on-one makeup lessons online.

Our lessons begin with exercises in improv comedy that are designed to break your academic bad habits before we cover the basics of stand-up comedy performance; from microphone technique to stage presence. The goal is to get comfortable having a conversation with the audience and developing your unique voice.

Comedy Writing

The first step in the writing process is to approach your scientific topic from new perspectives; exploring metaphors and similes that can make your topic accessible to a public audience.

As you progress through the group lessons, you will also work on honing your own spoken-word content. Our written tutorial walks you through the entire brainstorming and editing process with easy to follow steps and brain-jogging exercises. We won't help you write any jokes, but we will help you amplify your personality and authentic voice. We guarantee you already have a sense of humor!

Feedback

You will meet once per week for an in-person lesson with your cohort of about eight science professionals. Together, you will practice basic skills in public speaking, microphone technique, projecting confidence, practice your talk, and receive feedback from our comedy coaches. If you miss a lesson or need extra instruction, our team can host one-on-one makeup lessons online.

Before attempting your comedy talk in front of real people you will be able to try out your ideas in a safe space under the guidance of professionals. We will help you understand cultural dynamics and contexts to break down common barriers of communication and avoid pitfalls. By the end, you will learn to navigate difficult and controversial topics and find the humor in them without undermining the seriousness of your profession.

Membership

Our workshops are free for participating professionals and paid for by ticket sales. If you're bold enough, you can sign up for our workshops right now! You will be added to our waiting list and representatives in your city will follow up ahead of the next workshop. Alumni of our program receive free access to our resources and online community of scientists and comedy coaches.

But if you can't take part in our workshops but still want access to our online teaching materials, you can become a Science Riot online member for one year which costs only $25.  If you're not sure, you can preview our material with a free subscription and decide later.

Science Riot Members will be able to login into the site and the members-only menu will become visible, which includes a link to join our private Slack channel and get help on adding humor to your upcoming presentation or article. We know that appropriate use of humor can make any topic better, and you'll never want to give a boring lecture again.