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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Explaining your project

I explained my project twice yesterday, to my work buddy, Thomas, and and hour later to a writer for the news service that produces a daily set of stories about my university. I'm giving a talk in our faculty seminar in two weeks too. It is a useful thing to do, because you will inevitably tailor the explanation to the audience. In other words, you have an implicit pitch in your mind, but you will deliver it differently depending on your sense of an audience. I  Or you should. If you are talking to a different person then you will generate different ideas, based on their reactions. That is better than just memorizing a pitch and using the same words for every audience.  

So some the factors are

How much the person knows about your field, about your previous research.

How long you want to talk, how much detail, etc... Do you want to hammer home a main idea or give an extended outline of the separate parts?

How you think the audience perceives you. Do you have to win them over,  or do they already think you are interesting?  Are you preaching to the choir or do you expect resistance?

How do you want to be perceived? As an "expert," a gadfly?  Do you want to come off as humble or not so humble? How will you handle your defensiveness if challenged?

Do you want to gloss over the potential problems in your approach, or confess them openly so that someone can help you with them?

What are you looking for? Approval or confirmation? Clarification?  A job? Help in some concrete area?  A nice and informative news story about you in "KU today"?

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