Difference in profession makes one feel world apart. Speaking of presenting a research to general audience, it is always a challenge for me to find a good balance between things you assume they already know and things that they actually acknowledged, as different trades are separated as by mountains.
I’ve got plenty of chances to listen to other professional’s research during my years as an undergraduate, and I have to admit, majority of the time, I felt confused and down because I can’t tell the central idea the presenter is trying to convey. However, these experiences give me a new perspective on what a presenter should present and how to achieve a better understanding among audiences across disciplines. I found many approaches that helped me when introducing a topic. For example, show it to your grandma or your friends in different areas because they are the general audience who knows nothing about your field. If they ask you lots of fundamental questions, such as “what is qualitative data”, then you know you can find a better way to present. Another approach I found helpful is to break down your presentations into sections and contribute extra time on the basics of this area that you are researching on, especially on topics that are less commonly known. For example, I always like to spend extra time on my introductions, and I believe it is essential for any presentations because people get more takeaways from your presentation as their understanding of the basics grown. After the introduction, I found that in my experiences, introducing the significance of the research brought people’s attention more than go straight into the methods. Knowing and focusing on what audiences are caring about rather than what you think is important is extremely critical in the first half of the presentation.
Communication is the key across scenarios. As someone who is willing to pursue a Ph.D. degree in the psychology field, besides daily conversations with other scientists and psychology professionals, it is especially critical for me to communicate well with patients and their families in clinical settings. Brackenridge Fellowship gave me a valuable opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with scholars across disciplines, and I hope to learn more from each of them!