While the Communicating Science class was actually very painful for me (I really hate public speaking), I do feel like it helped me to think about my personal connection to my research. Throughout the class, we told our story a total of 3 times. Each time, the purpose was to get us more attuned to sharing it with a wide audience. However, I noticed something as I reflected back on the stories that I told… It was the same story, but with a different flavor.
The first time I explained my research, I gave a very technical explanation (though I tried to keep it as basic as possible) of my research. The person that I told was also in engineering and I feel like he had a good grasp of what I was explaining, but I don’t think it was appropriate for all audiences. The second time told it, we were supposed to tell our personal connection to our research. This time, I feel like people felt connected to my story because they learned more about me. The third time, I tried to connect my research to others – to explain it to them in a way that would make them care.
While my expectation was to get “better” at telling my story every time, what I realized at the end of class was that I had simply approached the same story from three angles. Each angle has a purpose and a place, and I think it’s important to understand when each of the angles is appropriate!