Title: How we can use light to see deep inside our bodies and brains   

Presenter: Mary Lou Jepsen



  • I found the introduction effective. You started with an example of red light shining through your hand, stated your thesis, and forecasted what you would show us today.
  • I would like you to establish your credentials in the introduction. You say that you spent some of your early career studying holography, but I still didn't know what your field is or where you did your research. You referenced your background much later in the presentation, but having that information earlier would help me prepare ("calibrate") for what I'm about to hear. 
  • The analogy and demonstration of marbles in a maze to scattering was very useful to me. I thought I'm familiar with holograms — maybe not — and I'm unclear how it will help us track the position and angle of the marbles leaving the maze and why that's important. Instead of running the maze backwards, it would be more convincing to me to see the marbles entering the maze from above and exiting below in a line. But I understand if that's too difficult to build.
  • I don't understand what we're seeing for the first time ever with the green light; I'm not sure if it's because the experiment was so small or not established well enough for me. I encourage you to practice in front of people who aren't familiar with your work and get their feedback to see how well they understand the point. It may be that I don't see well enough or just me that didn't understand. Where was the stream of light that exited the hologram?
  • I may not have the background to understand what you're showing me. I didn't know what a bare camera dye is, so what looked like a star chart didn't have enough context for me to understand what I was viewing. 
  • When you said "you're probably thinking…," you captured my feelings exactly. I found your description and mock-up illustration of how the system works very clarifying. Up to that point, I was feeling frustrated with the presentation that you're showing pieces to me that I don't know how to put together. Perhaps you tested this approach with other non-scientific audiences, and if few others agree with me, then you chose a good approach; but I would've understood better if you reduced the realtime demonstrations and reached this part sooner. An important step for a successful scientific presentation, as you can see, is to give it in advance to general test audiences and learn what is the best approach to help them understand the topic.
  • You lost me again when you referenced Rosalind Franklin and her iconic photo. I'm not familiar with this, and at that point that I felt that perhaps you expect your audience to have a specific background that excludes me. Survey others to see if a significant portion feel the same way. Overall, I felt your challenge is to bridge the gap between the deep knowledge and passion that you have for this topic with those of us with no background. Sometimes you were  effective, and other times I felt left out.
  • After you finished showing us the system and explaining how it works and some of the obstacles that your team had to overcome, I felt that the focus of the presentation became a bit scattered. You gave us a list of different ways that the system might be used for different treatments. At that point, to me, if felt less about your work and your discovery and felt more like a Shark Tank proposal. And did I understand you correctly that you're claiming that you can "decode the words, images, and dreams of those being scanned?" That came out of nowhere and felt like the basis of an entire TED Talk to me. It didn't seem to me that anything you'd explained to that point supported what I thought I heard. Again, maybe everyone else already understands how this is possible and I'm just not the right audience. To me, it seemed that you struggled to find an effective conclusion, and you chose to use this "what we may be able to do" approach. What I'd suggest is to end with a personal touch to draw in and appeal to the audience. What about ending with a single story about a person who has X, Y, and Z symptoms and can come to a small clinic and use this equipment to learn the diagnosis and obtain the necessary treatment? Instead of telling us what the equipment might accomplish in scientific-speak, share a story that shows us how it can make a difference.


Chuck Hinkle has been formally evaluating and coaching speakers worldwide for over thirty years.

“Chuck took my story I was giving at a TEDx conference and turned it into a powerful presentation. Then he coached me so that I could deliver it confidently and effectively. It was the most impactful presentation of all the speakers.” Sr. Business Analyst & TEDx Presenter

“Even more than being terrified of public speaking I am more terrified of sharing my personal past with others. That was until I encountered Chuck Hinkle. Chuck listened to my ideas for my first TEDx talk and gently coaxed me to share part of me that was not a part of my work persona. He helped me develop the skills I needed to convey a message that would reach the hearts and minds of folks literally around the globe. My New Years resolution was to overcome my fear of speaking in public by possibly talking to a group of school children or at a senior center as part of a group. By working with Chuck, I gained the confidence and skills to stand on the stage alone and reach out to over 17 different countries and Dare them to make a difference. And what is even more amazing is they took the challenge and told how they did. Chuck used a combination of presentation techniques on how to use PowerPoint and pictures, to what stories to tell and how to paint a visual picture. I grew personally and was able to land an amazing new role professionally thanks to Chuck.” Commercial Contract Manager & TEDx Presenter

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