Communicating Science – Weekly Journal 7

This week we have a wonder activity in a relatively small group to enhance our communicating skills with each other, typically a PhD student not in our own genre. The intention of having such a class is perfect since we usually dealing with data and manuscript as a PhD student but at the end of day we need to communicate with the public to present or even advertise our findings. However, most of time we are dealing with labmates who are quite familiar with your own genre, and hence the communication is highly efficient. Once the audience turns to be normal people, it is usually very difficult to convey our points vividly and effectively. That’s the main reason our PhD students need to enhance our communicating skills for better understanding.

The golden rule in this class is “Yes, and …”, and I find it really magical. When two people communicate with each other, they try to find things or experience in common to continue the communication link. By saying “Yes”, you confirm the opinion of the other people and make the talker believe that you are either interested in this topic or give a positive stand on his view. The later “and…” adds your point of view to the original information as an exchange to construct a more stale link and serve as a basis for later communication. Wit this golden rule in mind, we started this special class with a really simple game aiming at enhancing our attention coordinated with action. The speed escalates bringing the difficulty to a new level. Through this game, group members feel more comfortable about making eye contact with each other with kind body gesture. The second game is to share one of your academic and personal history with your partner, and your partner will introduce you later in front of all people. This seems difficult at first, however, if we combine our personal reasons, such as an encouraging story, with the academic history, it will become more memorable. Hence, when we try to illustrate a difficult term or concept to a normal being, we should state it in their language and try to combine the term with some freshing story to be more vivid. Other games, such as “human machine” and “mirror movement” are both fun and educational. I actually learned a lot through this special class and will certainly practice some of the golden rules in my future communication.

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