Introduction to Strategic Science Communication with the Message Box

Learn tools and strategies to help you understand how to effectively communicate with diverse audiences in this 3 hr interactive workshop.

Grounded in the latest research on science communication, this virtual workshop will explore how to build meaningful connections while communicating about science topics. Whether you’re presenting research, getting called for interviews, engaging with community members, making a pitch to a potential donor, or just explaining what you do to a stranger, this workshop will help you communicate more clearly, compellingly, and compassionately with anyone you meet.

Our virtual workshops aren’t your typical webinar. We keep things moving and engagement high through a combination of facilitated group discussion; brief, relevant and interesting content presentation; and meaningful activities in breakout rooms with partners. In this 3 hour, interactive virtual workshop, COMPASS trainers will introduce tools and strategies for strategic science communication, including the Message Box, COMPASS’s fundamental tool for breaking down complex topics into digestible messages.

By the end of the workshop, you will have:

  • A stronger understanding of the science behind science communication
  • Experience using the Message Box, COMPASS’s signature tool for breaking down complex topics into digestible, effective messages
  • A draft COMPASS Message Box of your own, on a topic of your choosing
  • Feedback on your draft messages from peers

By registering for this workshop, you are agreeing to use a webcam during discussion and breakout room portions of the workshop. Please also commit to actively participating for the benefit of yourself and the group. Due to the progression of materials presented and the paired exercises, we cannot admit participants who are more than 15 minutes late. More information can be found in the FAQ section belo.

Who could benefit from this workshop?

This workshop is open to anyone who would like to build their strategic science communication skills. Becoming a better communicator is a practice, not a destination; wherever you are on your journey, this workshop will provide you with an opportunity to practice communicating strategically about science topics that matter to you.


The workshop will be held on the video conferencing platform Zoom. If you are unfamiliar with the platform, this one-minute video explains how to join a meeting. You will need a webcam, microphone, and stable internet connection. Recommended upload/download speed is 5Mbps/5Mbps. Test your internet speed here by clicking “run speed test.” This workshop will also incorporate the browser-based whiteboard program called MURAL.



Interested in scheduling a group training? Let’s connect!

FAQs – Virtual Workshops

I need to arrive late/leave early. Is that ok?

We are unable to admit participants who arrive more than 15 minutes late due to the progression of material presented. You will not receive a refund if you are more than 15 minutes late. If you unexpectedly need to leave the workshop during a portion of the event or early, we cannot guarantee we will be able to readmit you to the workshop, depending on how long you are gone. Part of the magic of our workshops is the peer feedback and peer-to-peer learning that takes place. To ensure that is possible, we need everyone to be present for the full workshop.

My webcam doesn’t work. Can I still attend?

A functional webcam is highly recommend, but you can still attend as long as you are able to verbally participate in group discussion and paired exercises in breakout rooms.

Can I call in to the workshop?

This workshop includes visual content viewed via Zoom screen sharing and browser-based content, so we do not recommend that you solely call in to the workshop.

Will the workshop be recorded?

No. For the privacy and comfort of all participants, this workshop will not be recorded.

Will there be other dates or opportunities to join a COMPASS virtual workshop?

Yes! To stay up to date on our virtual offerings, sign up for our newsletter.

What does it mean to be waitlisted?

We create a waitlist for workshops that reach capacity so that we can offer spots as they become available. If there is a cancellation and a spot becomes available, we will open up registration for the first person on the waitlist and then work our way down the list as other spots become available. We will contact you directly to let you know if a spot has opened for you.

What is your refund policy?

If you have to cancel up to 7 days before the start of the event, you will receive an automatic full refund. If you cancel within 7 days of the event, you will receive a 50% refund. If you cancel within 24 hours of the event, you will not be eligible to receive a refund. If you cancel within 24 hours, have technological issues during the workshop, or unexpectedly need to leave the workshop early, we will determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not you can receive credit for a future workshop.

Can I transfer my ticket to another person if I can no longer attend the event?

Yes! Participants are allowed to transfer their registration up to 24 hours in advance of the event. There is no charge to transfer registration, unless there is a price difference between the tickets.

Can I purchase tickets for other people?

Yes! You will need to have the names and email addresses of the people for whom you are purchasing tickets. To complete the purchase, you may enter “N/A” for the additional questions in the order form. Once the tickets are purchased, an order confirmation will be sent to the purchaser and to each participant. The participants can then retroactively fill out the additional questions in the order form.

Still have questions?

Contact us at and we’ll do our best to answer them!

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Interested in additional skill building opportunities for you or your group? Contact us to inquire about our customizable group workshops or 1:1 coaching.