Communicating Your Message to Engage a Lay Audience

By Linda J. Mason

Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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    Zachariah Olson Martin

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    Overall, this is a fantastic presentation and I'm very glad that I watched. The Dr. Mason is a phenomenal speaker; she grabs the audience's attention right away and keeps them engaged for the duration of her talk. Her presentation itself is also great; she uses visuals quite effectively to complement what she's saying and does not overload her slides with text. Additionally, the content of her talk is great, as well as incredibly helpful for anyone partaking in scientific research. I really like her mantra of summarizing a point or result from your research in 8-14 words. I think that this is great advice, particularly when a lot of researchers struggle to communicate their results to the public in a concise manner. I will definitely keep this talk bookmarked for future use when preparing abstracts and one-sentence summaries.

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    Ruihan Chen

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    The lecture is interesting and well-organized. Dr. Mason introduced the topic by talking about a job interview and her reseach experience. This immediately awares us of the importance of communication skills to a scientist. A good point is that we need to flip the message when talking to lay audience. Sometimes we just get used to technical discussion in research and ignore the interests of the public. Then she took a few example to show how to hook the audience in the presentation. What impressed me is that we need to modify the slides to cater to the audience. For a presentation to lay audience, we need less words, less details and clear images on the slides. She spoke at good pace and appeared comfident and passionate.

    It's better if she could make a summery at the end of the presentation. Anyway it's an excellent lecture.

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    Shrihari Sridharan

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    This presentation was particularly interesting to me because it broke some misconceptions that I had while presenting my work to an audience. For example, I was always told to present my work only rather than asking questions to an audience because there might be situations where audience members might not be quite responsive, or my work might not be too relatable. However, Dr. Linda Mason talks about presentations being “2-way” (i.e.) the audience should also participate in your talk which makes it quite engaging. Next, she talks about developing the core idea of the work in 3 points, which was quite interesting because there were different points for a research audience and for the general public, which makes it important to understand who your audience is. There were other examples for visual aid, the pace at which you should speak and the importance of maintaining eye contact. Overall, this was an excellent presentation and gave me good insights about explaining to an audience.

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    Karen Lilibet Reyes Pacheco

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    Great introduction and stating the topic. The introduction really engage audience, and connect with it, make me want to hear more and more about her point of view. Good tone of voice and good use of visuals. Good knowledge of the topic, so the presenter is able to give you examples and more than anything she built credibility by stating all her work and background. 

    The most that called my attention is the simplicity that she makes seems everything. The seven word summary was the best part because it allow us to simplify in basic words content and the audience can understand better. Developing different speeches depending on your audience, using diagrams, analogies or any other resource are well suggested in order to explain better any topic in a presentation. This has been the best video, and a great source of knowledge. 

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