Communication will play a significant role in your professional development.

The message that you deliver to others will be a reflection of your professional behaviour and attitude. As a graduate student, you have many roles: leader, teacher, researcher, mentor, colleague, and student. People who will hire you in the future will demand a high level of expertise, knowledge, professionalism and leadership.

Learn to accept your new roles and by doing so, you will need to learn to communicate effectively. In today's job market, there is little difference in the ability to get a job between someone who has a high school diploma and someone having a graduate degree (80 % vs 86%, Statistics Canada 2006). However, the difference in your average yearly earnings increases dramatically. Today's graduate students can expect to earn more than 60% yearly than their high school counter parts. This difference is largely based on the expectations placed upon you by your employers.

Communication is key to any successful relationship or position, and a graduate degree is an excellent opportunity to hone your skills. Every type of communication has a protocol, from giving a lecture in your department, to hosting a meeting, submitting an article for publication, to sending an email. Use the proper protocol for each of these to increase your chances for a successful outcome. Look for opportunities and people you encounter as sources for inspiration to communicate effectively.

The tip sheets below contain activities and advice that can improve your communication in all settings.

Grant Writing
  1. Writing Grant Applications [PDF Document]
  2. Parts of a Research Grant [PDF Document]
  3. Tips for Writing the Research Plan [PDF Document]
  4. The Review Process [PDF Document]
How to Prepare Your Presentation
  1. The Attention Curve [PDF Document]
  2. Getting to Know Your Audience [PDF Document]
  3. Making the Most of Your Room [PDF Document]
  4. How to Organize Your Presentation [PDF Document]
  5. Visual Aids [PDF Document]
  6. Using Powerpoint for your Research Presentation [PDF Document]
How to Deliver Your Presentation
  1. Are You Nervous? [PDF Document]
  2. Building a Rapport [PDF Document]
  3. Let Your Voice be Heard [PDF Document]
  4. Maximizing Impact [PDF Document]
  5. Image and Body Language [PDF Document]
  6. Engaging Your Audience [PDF Document]
  7. Question Period [PDF Document]
In the Workplace
  1. Criticism and Feedback [PDF Document]
  2. Giving an Elevator or Hallway Pitch [PDF Document]

U of A Resources

Check for workshops/sessions offered by following units:

Additional Resources