About

Hi.  I’m Jenifer Alonzo.Smiling Photo of Jenifer Alonzo

I’m an acting coach for scientists.

I will teach you all the tools actors use to vanquish their fear and appear expert and confident in every public situation from the Broadway stage to the red carpet. I want to help you win the Oscar for Awesome Science Presentation.

If that sounds good to you, your first action item is to get our guide: The Top Ten Things You Can Do to Make Sure You Do Not Die During Your Science Presentation.  I’ll also send you actionable tips that you can start using right away.  My mission is to help you love presenting, and to give the best talks you can.

Background: I’m a tenured associate professor of communication and theatre arts who LOVES science. After attending my first scientific conference about a decade ago, and realizing that almost everyone who presented their work was terrified of public speaking, and that the audience was in pain, I found my mission: to take the pain out of science communication. After years of research and experience working with scientists, engineers, and other professionals, I confirm that the tools actors learn at the very beginning of their training are the tools you need to take your fear and insecurity away. Even for those who aren’t terrified, these techniques will improve how you present yourself and communicate your research, and that means more funding, more opportunities, more options as you move forward in your career.

When I am not teaching scientists at my university how to act in my Acting for Scientists course, I’m cooking fabulously tasty and mostly healthy food for my family or nerding out on Dr. Who and reruns of StarTrek. I’m a runner and I’m finally learning to swim (yup, totally possible even at 40).
Here are a couple things that surprise people who know me:

  • I am incredibly shy. It took me almost a decade of adulthood to learn how to overcome a debilitating fear of meeting new people.
  • In fact, I became a child actor because I was shy. My parents thought that theatre could help an eight-year-old me come out of her shell. They were right.

Learning to act can help you too! You can become a powerful, persuasive speaker. Get the guide. Start the process. Win YOUR Oscar for Science Communication.

(I hate spam so I won’t share your information with anyone).

Photo of Adriénne Kouremetis, Jenifer Alonzo's business partner for Acting for ScientistsHi! I’m Adriénne Kouremetis. I am the Designer/Developer, Content Manager, and Marketer for Acting for Scientists.  I bring my business, teaching, and theatre background to this project, as well as my passion for helping others empower themselves by developing strong presentation skills. Together, we can transform the future of science communication.

A few fun facts about me:

  • I love solving problems!  I hope I can help solve yours.
  • I sing.  To myself.  And my family.  A LOT.  Not real songs.  Mostly whatever’s in my head at the moment.
  • Despite my brown thumb, I challenged myself (successfully!) to grow most of my garden from seed last year.
  • I ran my first 5K in 2015, when my daughter took up running in third grade, and now I love running!

“Jenifer—and in fact, anyone who has attended a scientific conference—realizes that few of us have been formally trained in addressing an audience.  Too often we speak too softly or too quickly, turn our heads away from the microphone, read our slides, abuse the laser pointer.  These ‘mechanical’ issues, however, are easily resolved compared to acquiring the higher-level skills of engaging listeners, telling stories effectively, and finishing definitively.  Jenifer’s abilities as a theatrical director will help you improve noticeably in both areas.  She will coach you in methods used by actors to stay simultaneously focused and relaxed on stage.  You will become a better speaker working with Jenifer!

-Dr. Fred Dobbs, Professor of Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences,

Old Dominion University