However, in a recent course meeting we were guided through a series of exercises meant to open us up to the possibilities for communicating our research. There were numerous activities presented and all of them brought a seed of value. For me, the most powerful was remembering to speak from my heart. When telling other people about the work I do, it is far too easy for me to get caught up in the nuts and bolts of the key components. And even easier to stay on the technical side when talking with others in my field. The end result, is that this habit contributes to my inability to communicate to those who aren't familiar with the terminology what it is I do and why it is important.
Being reminded to speak from my heart and let others see my passion was priceless advice. Given the opportunity to practice that skill confirmed that my own enthusiasm for digging into this topic allows others to connect with me and want to know more about how this topic will unfold. I take away from this experience a new appreciation for finding effective ways to communicate what I do to others outside of my field. For those who find themselves on a similar path, the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science (use the link below) is an excellent source for finding additional information on how to have real conversations about real research.