UCL News


Q & A with Lele Rangaka: Review of 'Public Speaking Masterclass for Women in STEMM'

11 June 2015

In April, engineer, physicist, and BBC television scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE led a one-day practical course on learning how to communicate complex ideas with clarity and passion.

Delegates were shown how to analyse and prepare their work for communication to different audiences, learn techniques for presenting their message in person and maximising its impact and practice doing all this on camera.

We talked to one of the course participants, Lele Rangaka on her experience of the course. 

Could you explain a little of who you are and your role at UCL? Your story if you will!

I'm a South African  trained medical doctor. I hold a three-year UCL Excellence Fellowship, which supports entry-level to mid-career level researchers on their way to setting up independent research groups. My work helps improve the way we test and treat tuberculosis infections. I am interested in using approaches that draw from basic research, to clinical research all the way to community-based research. Giving me a 360 degree view on the enormous challenge of TB elimination.

What drew you to the 'Public Speaking and Presenting your Research for Women in STEMM Masterclass? What were the main reasons for signing up?

I know a lot about my subject. The work is exciting and often produces quite a lot of new findings. The best way to disseminate the exciting results is to confidently sell it when talking about it. I want to be the best spokesperson there is for the work I do.

Did you have any expectations of the course?

Not really. I expected that it would give me a little taste of what I would get if I paid for a public speaking course as I had been keeping my eye out for one. 

How did you find the training overall?

Pretty good. I didn't think a one-day course could achieve that much!

What was the best part of the day for you?

When at at the end of the day, the entire small group had big smiles on their faces, beaming from ear-to-ear because we had observed ourselves, and each other, transform from rather reserved speakers to mini powerhouses! 

Would you recommend the course/trainer to a friend and if so, why?

Yes, and I have done so already!

What was the impact of being in an all-female group?

Hate to admit it - but it felt more open... safely competitive.

Are there any courses that you'd like to see run in future?

Yes - a leadership course that helps women structure and build their own research groups!