You don't really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother."
That's not an easy job, since science itself is often written in a mathematical and logical language which requires training to understand it. Furthermore, most non-scientists aren't really interested in the methodical, even tedious methodologies of science, required to reach any kind of new knowledge.
How many are interested in the thousands of repetitions of the same experiment? How many care about sitting in front of a thousand test protocols that have to be scored and entered? Does anybody listen for the note of uncertainty in the voices of the scientists when they talk about what they found, and the statement of error probability?
True science communication is science education which starts at the beginning and works its way slowly through the derivation of science. Communication of science to a popular audience, an audience of non-scientists, for instance, requires skillful abbreviation and condensation that builds plausibility and is satisfying, even though not complete. Non-scientists want less procedure and more story. They want conclusions that take them just slightly beyond what they already know.
Public speaking consultant, Lisa B. Marshall describes the communication of science to non-technical audiences with several simple points.
- You can include some terminology, but put the words in print on the screen.
- Repeat key points and explain them in more than one way.
- Using something familiar helps make the unfamiliar easier to understand.
- Make it fun to learn so your audience will pay attention.
- Make it personal. All presentations should just be conversations with your audience.
Brand Spells is a creative advertising agency in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. We guide researchers, agencies and business professionals in their strategic communications campaigns and create original content such as professional video, photo, and animation for your brand's marketing and advertising. Please contact us for a free evaluation.