What we do, how we do it, and who we are
Communication training for scientists and researchers
Whitbys helps scientists, researchers, and subject-matter experts share their research and communicate at their best – online, in person, on stage, and in international environments.
How we do it
- Tailored Research Communication Training Courses to help scientists, researchers, and subject-matter experts share their research
- Communication Skills Training Courses to help scientists, researchers, and subject-matter experts communicate effectively with their teams, colleagues, and humans from all backgrounds.
- 1-to-1 or small team coaching is helpful for scientists or researchers who need to build a new skill quickly, or who want to focus on one particular communication challenge.
- Engaging training sessions designed for conferences and tailored to the delegates and the research area add extra value to delegates and give the communication skills in the research community a boost.
Why we do it
People sometimes wonder why we work with scientists, researchers, and more recently, with subject-matter experts (who often turn out to be researchers but not academics). They ask us “why research communication training”, and “why communication skills training for scientists and researchers”.
Here’s an attempt at explaining why we do it.
- Part of the reason is that we’re communication “geeks” who love nothing better than people watching, and learning about communication models, and trying them out, and who get excited beyond reason when we discover something new that works!
- Part of the reason is that we believe that communication underpins everything that we do and we think being able to communicate at your best is important for everyone (and especially for scientists and researchers – see next point).
- Part of the reason is that we believe that scientists and researchers are continually uncovering the building blocks of knowledge that might change the world.
- Part of the reason is that we believe that the only way to solve some (or all!) of the world’s problems is to raise awareness of the problems and the solutions AND motivate people to act (and the knowledge about problems and solutions comes from scientists and researchers).
- And part of the reason is that we love the experience of sharing our knowledge and continually learning from participants: it’s never a one-way process.
Our trainers are all native English speakers who have lived and worked internationally, who have held a variety of communication roles, have a passion for audience-focused communication, and who use their real-world communication experience to make our training and coaching programmes energising, engaging and practical.
We’re not actors or “career-trainers”. Although we’re not all scientists, most of us have been (or are still) researchers with experience of working in research environments and universities. We understand the real-world challenges that scientists and researchers face because we’ve been there too. This adds a real-world dimension—and value—that few other training companies can offer.
Behind the business
Suzanne Whitby is the founder and Director of Training for Whitbys. Suzanne helps scientists and researchers communicate at their best through workshops and coaching. She helps them share their research clearly and make it relevant for the audiences who need to hear about their work, and communicate effectively with their teams and colleagues. Suzanne works with people who come from the corporate world, the non-profit sector, education and academic institutions, and scientific organisations, and who have a wide range of research interests, ranging from the natural sciences to social sciences and everything in between.
After spending 7 years managing multi-million euro projects and diverse international teams in the technology, construction, and non-profit sectors, she decided to combine her passion for people and communication and start a company based on the principle that “communication matters” in 2003. Over the next few years, she built a business with an international focus that specialised in communication, creativity, and navigating culture. In 2010, she began working with scientists and researchers, and narrowed her focus to helping scientists and researchers communicate at their best. In addition to the training methodologies that she has pioneered, she is known for her ability to cut to the heart of challenges and to provide innovative insights, direct feedback, and supportive advice to help people transform their communication and their personal impact.
A life-long learner, Suzanne is working towards a PhD in the Classics in her free time and spends her free time living the life of an academic researcher, making her work with researchers particularly relevant. She is a voracious reader, an oral storyteller and a “fish hugger” (rather than a “tree hugger”) who loves scuba diving, walking and travelling. She believes in the importance of human connection and creates new communities wherever she goes. She spends a lot of time learning tread more lightly on the earth, and lives in Innsbruck, Austria with her atmospheric physicist husband.
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