Astute scientists know that conveying their findings to others is as much a part of the scientific process as coming up with the findings in the first place. Therefore, they pay attention to the particular challenges of crafting their papers and formal presentations. But what of the less formal opportunities to convey scientific knowledge? It turns out that effective conversations call for many of the same communication tools as effective presentations—but with the added challenge that conversations, more so than presentations, are also opportunities for relationship-building. In this presentation, attendees will learn why making a connection with the listener is a prerequisite to conveying information. They will also learn how to make such a connection and how to convey their information convincingly once they have done so. The focus will be on how to approach a conversation with the listener’s, not the speaker’s, needs in mind. The central theme of putting “connection before content, empathy before evidence” will likely seem counterintuitive at first. Scientists, after all, are trained to seek and present evidence. But this “evidence-first” tendency is exactly what gets in the way of effective communication, according (ironically!) to scientific evidence. The science behind putting connection first will be explained. Following this presentation, attendees will be able to… -State their Specific Purpose which will guide their next speaking opportunity -Explain the benefit of connecting with the listener at an emotional level -Demonstrate how to connect by putting the listener’s needs first -Demonstrate the use of basic storytelling techniques and tell why they are essential -Demonstrate the use of analogy and other tools for conveying their information This 90-minute, interactive presentation includes time for participants to collaborate with a neighbor in using these tools. It contains elements of both a keynote and a mini-workshop. Participants will leave eager to use the insights they have gained at their very next opportunity. Intended audience: Early- to mid-career researchers who have a demonstrated need to communicate the essentials of their research both within and outside their organization. Can be adapted to other audiences.