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Presenting in the Sciences : A Guide

Quick guide with tips, examples, and resources on how to effectively present scientific information via posters and presentations

Resources for Communicating with Non-Scientists

Some advice when communicating your research:

  • Know your audience: What is their background and interests? Frame your talk so that it is relevant to them and at a level they understand. 
  • Define your goals: What do you want people to take away from your presentation/paper?
  • Broader impact: Start by making it clear why they should care about your research and how it can impact society, environment, public policy, health, etc. Lead and end with this information. 
  • Tell a story: People are more likely to remember you and your work if it is part of a story. 
  • Keep jargon at a minimum: If you use technical terms, provide a definition and examples to improve understanding. 
  • Use visuals: Ensure that each slide has at least one visual and explain why you are using that visual. 
  • Be enthusiastic: Don't let the audience think you are bored by your own research. 
  • Engage the audience: Have the audience ask questions, provide comments, and offer solutions. 

Inspired by http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo67556/c1419.pdf and http://ian.umces.edu/learn/science_communication/ 

A table from the article “Communicating the Science of Climate Change,” by Richard C. J. Somerville and Susan Joy Hassol, from the October 2011 issue of Physics Today, page 48:

Science Blogs and Magazines are great examples on how to communicate science to the general public

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