Expanding Horizons

Academic and Professional Development

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Communication & Interpersonal Skills


What Communication and Interpersonal Skills offers to Graduate Students

  • Enhances written, oral and visual communication skills
  • Develops writing skills for a variety of audiences, including academic and non-specialist audiences; communicating with the media, decision makers, academics and the general public
  • Improves communication skills in sharing knowledge and expertise

Benefits of Communication and Interpersonal Skills for Graduate Students

  • Interpersonal skills are valuable in refining the way we connect with others, including diverse audiences and partners in collaborative projects
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills are valuable assets that can contribute to success in academia, industry, government and private agencies

Workshop Categories & Descriptions

Presentation Skills

Practice your Presentation Skills - Level 1 (Winter)

Host Presenters: Mitacs

The simple truth is that people who present well in front of groups are far more likely to succeed at captivating, persuading and inspiring others, and are generally perceived as better leaders. In summary, one’s ability to present will help determine their success in business.

In this one-day workshop, theory is introduced in short bursts, and participants spend the majority of time practicing their presentation skills and receiving onsite feedback.

The focus on extensive practice and feedback is what makes the program meaningful, and is what makes the learning stick.


Presentation Skills - Level 2 (Summer)

Host Presenters: Mitacs

Details to come


Presentation Skills for graduate students (Winter)

Host Presenters: Learning Strategies

This workshop offers practical strategies to plan, organize, and structure a professional presentation, deliver that presentation in an engaging way, and effectively answer questions. Use your skills in the classroom, at a conference, or in the workplace.


3 Minute Thesis (3MT) presentation workshop (Winter)

Host Presenters: Learning Strategies

To help those who plan to participate in the 3 Minute Thesis competition at Queen's, this workshop will give you some tips and strategies and how to plan your presentation, your one slide and advice on how to think & speak differently about your research.


Managing presentation anxiety (Winter)

Host Presenters: Learning Strategies

This workshop will provide strategies for dealing with presentation anxiety and the opportunity to practise presenting a short presentation.


Writing Skills

Writing for a Broader Audience: Principles and Practice. (Fall, offered alternate years)

Host Presenters: the Writing Centre

In today’s competitive job market, demonstrating that you can make your research accessible to a wider audience is a skill valued by both academic and industry employers. The session will provide information about venues and techniques for delivering your research to non-academic audiences. You will then apply strategies to your writing that make it suitable for popular, non-specialist publications, and fine-tune portions of the document and benefit from group discussion and one-on-one feedback from your peers.

Media & Technology Skills

Media Interviewing (Summer)

Host Presenters: SGS & Queen's Communications

Details to come

Other Interactions

Effective Communication with your Supervisor (Fall/Winter)

Host Presenters: HDCDS & SGS - Dr Arunima Khanna & Dr Sandra den Otter

This workshop provides invaluable guidance on how to communicate effectively with your supervisor. The relationship between graduate student and supervisor is one of the most critical parts of a graduate student’s life and building and nurturing this relationship depends in part on open and mutually respectful communication. Graduate students share responsibility with the supervisor for maintaining direct, frequent, and clear communications and this workshop provides some tips on how to nurture an effective supervisory-student relationship.

Taking a multicultural focus, the workshop will seek to provide information on the areas listed above, and to provide case-studies to illustrate some of the challenges of supervisory-student communication with practical suggestions on problem solving and avenues for assistance if communication breaks down. Tips on how to manage the intercultural elements of the student-supervisory relationship will also be covered.


Proactive and Practical Communication (Winter/Summer) - this workshop has been phased out and replaced by "Skills of communication" a full day workshop

Host Presenters: Mitacs

Fine-tune your ability to communicate in academia and industry! We encourage you to take this opportunity to experience first-hand, the power of effective communication whether it be communicating your research through presentation or working within teams.

Although we communicate in many ways every day, few of us are consistently effective. Assumptions, old patterns, and unhealthy paradigms can sabotage our efforts for clear, respectful communication. Teams play a vital role in cultures around the world. From sport teams to organizational teams, learning how to work and communicate within a group is pivotal to professional success.


Skills of Communication (Fall) - NEW

Host Presenters: Mitacs

The ability to access information and connect with people from around the world at any time is evolving, however we still need to have face-to-face contact. Not only is that how we build deep relationships but it is also beneficial in advancing our work. Research has shown that interacting for only 10 minutes a day improves cognitive performance.

Fine-tune your ability to communicate in academia and industry! We encourage you to take this opportunity to experience first-hand, the power of effective communication whether it be communicating your research through presentation or working within teams.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify obstacles and common mistakes in communication methods
  • Learn how to pinpoint your own communication barriers and strategies on how to overcome them
  • Learn how to develop focused attention and conversations
  • Understand social intelligence and changing outcomes in a more positive way
  • Recognize the impact of ineffective communication on teams and workflow
  • Understand business conduct principles and how to have difficult conversations
  • R.E.A.L Conversation™

Skills of Business Etiquette (Fall) - NEW

Host Presenters: Mitacs

This practical workshop focuses on teaching transferable skills to communicate with confidence and poise. You will have the opportunity to practice in a variety of situations and receive feedback from peers and the instructor. Whether the focus is customer service, supervision, team building or leadership, strong interpersonal communication skills are the foundation for success.

In a safe environment, you will practice, discuss and reflect on your learning experiences. You will complete a self-assessment and set goals for ongoing development.

Learning Outcomes

  • Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Business Meal Etiquette
  • Techno-Communication Etiquette
  • Workplace Best Practices
  • Professional Appearance

Leading with emotional intelligence (Winter)

Host Presenters: HR - Shannon Hill

Understanding the essentials about Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is an important and valuable skill for working with different people with distinct personalities. The workshop provides instruction on learning to to foster a more productive and engaging collaborative environment. New research shows that, unlike IQ, emotional and social intelligence can be developed and increased during any point in your career.


Working in a Diverse Workforce (Winter)

Host Presenters: HR - Shannon Hill

This workshop will assist you to in developing strategies to successfully work in today’s diverse work environment. We will define diversity as it applies to the workplace, discuss the importance of increasing our self-awareness, explore different cultural work styles, cross-cultural communication, and interacting with persons with disabilities

Speaker Series

To Be advised