The Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences recognizes that employers value certain soft skills such as communication with non-science audiences and mentoring ability, both of which are not part of our formal curriculum. We sought to evaluate the utility of a corporate tool, the "Elevator Speech," to introduce Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate students to communicating scientific research to a non-expert audience and to understand why soft skills are necessary for future success. Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars were invited to present their research in an elevator pitch competition. A pre-survey and a post-survey were administered to participants, mentors, and judges. Judges were members of the College External Advisory Board. The pre-event survey was completed by all participants and most mentors (82%, n = 11). The post-event survey was completed by all participants and judges, but fewer mentors (27%, n = 3). Participants and their mentors hoped that participants improved their public speaking skills and learned how to communicate with an audience naïve to their research. The post-event survey indicated that participants and mentors felt that participants improved simple speaking skills, confidence in speaking, and speaking without tools/devices. The judges applauded the event but highlighted the need for formal mechanisms to improve soft skills necessary for professional development. Both judges and organizers recognized that participation was poor, and the expected content of the "pitch" was poorly defined. Intentional use of the elevator pitch model may be valuable as part of the formal graduate program curriculum to teach non-traditional communication skills and better prepare graduates for a variety of future employers.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2015|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.
- Elevator speech
- Soft skills
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (all)