Be Able to Communicate Your Work Effectively to Any Audience
The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (H.R. 946/Public Law 111-274) requires the federal government to write documents, such as tax returns, federal college aid applications, and Veterans Administration forms in simple easy-to-understand language…”
Communicating your ideas clearly to a general audience is crucial to them understanding your research topic and interests. A general audience may include people who have never heard of your topic and are much more familiar with other fields which is why your writing has to be very clear and avoid technical language. You will have a greater opportunity to receive funding if your audience understands what is being funded. To help you with this process there are tips and resources available below.
Resources & Examples
- Check out these before and after examples for using plain language from the NIH.
- Checkout this page for more information on making your science clear for the general audience.
- More information about the Message Box, including the entire workbook can be found here: https://www.compassscicomm.org/the-message-box-workbook.
- Reference: COMPASS Science Communication, Inc. (2017). The Message Box Workbook. https://www.compassscicomm.org/
- Here’s the intro video that we showed prior to starting the workshop from an elevator pitch workshop found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNsAV5-TRmA
- Use Plain Language that the General Public can Understand! Run your work through this readability checker. Try to make your work readable at a Grade 10 or lower.
Tips from Specific Agencies
Remember that the audience reading the title, abstract and public health relevance statements may not be scientists.
Avoid scientific jargon or technical writing.
Communicate the bigger picture. State what you are proposing, why it is important, and explain the potential impact on the public.
Additional Tips from FSU Faculty
- Don’t forget to introduce yourself (in one to two sentences) if you do not already know the audience
- Realize an opportunity for presenting your pitch, and have it ready
- Don’t give a pitch when it’s not wanted
- Know your goal- for your particular audience
- Use successful models (e.g., watch video clips of good elevator pitches)
- Don’t get lost in the detail
- Make it personal
- Don’t speak the way you write, use simple language
- Know your audience, and make the pitch connect with them
- Use mental images and mnemonics to help you recall your pitch
- Convey a societal relevance
- Practice saying your pitch out loud, with feedback