Lay-Language Scientific Presentations

General Guidelines

  • There is really no such thing as “off the record.”;
    “No comment” is a guilty plea. Say, “I don’t know but I’ll find out for you.”
  • Avoid jargon, acronyms, and unexplained scientific terms.
  • Develop a core message that succinctly delivers the most important parts of your message.
  • Think wisdom not cleverness.
  • Simplify but don’t distort.
  • Maintain your dignity.
  • Don’t overgeneralize.
  • Use everyday language and familiar examples.
  • Respect the audience as uninformed but not stupid.
  • Learn to be uncomplicated yet accurate.

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