Doctoral schools: conference skills – comprehensive course (ACCO)

Objectives and content

This overview course concerns various skills related to successful academic conference participation. Participants learn how to create a well-structured conference contribution which is tailored to and leaves a good, long-lasting impression on its target audience.

This semester course compiles content of the UCT’s four conference skills modules and thus focuses on presentation skills and effective slides and academic posters while also boosting English proficiency within the conference context. It uses authentic examples to spark discussion and implements the insights in productive exercises using the participants’ own material.

  • The course successively covers the following topics:
  • How to pitch your research project
  • How to prepare an academic presentation using the right register
  • How to set up a presentation structure
  • How to properly manage your voice control and body language
  • How to make your slides reinforce your main message effectively
  • How to structure and design an academic poster

At various intervals, extra exercises on academic vocabulary and implemented grammar will be presented. Throughout the course, participants will present, edit and receive feedback on their own material.

Required prior knowledge

Advanced knowledge of English.


The participants will give a presentation at the end of the course.

Course materials

Doctoral students who are affiliated with the Doctoral Schools can only enter via the Doctoral Schools Support Unit (

UCT course book. You will receive this book from your language teacher in class.

Belongs to the series: Advanced Academic English: conference skills (continuous training)