Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center

Who is Your Audience?

Tailoring your research communication strategies to your audience is a vital part of your role as a Scholar and Researcher.

Failing to adjust to your audience could at best lead to significant miscommunication and lack of understanding; at worst it could reflect poorly on your character and make you seem pretentious or careless.

Lenny Laskowski quote
Analysis, Understanding, Demographics, Interest, Environment, Needs, Customized, Expectations
Lenny Laskowski

When communicating research tailor your presentation appropriately to your audience's needs

Things to consider when tailoring your message:

  • Who will be there and why?

  • What is this audience expecting?

  • Is jargon appropriate?

  • What question will this audience have? 

Tailoring your presentation to experts vs. non experts

Experts Non-Experts
Speech and Language  Use of technical terms Keep technical information to a minimum
Organization Content simple and straightforward, covering the basics Avoid jargon, and making sure to use language that your audience will understand
Questions Explicit questions: Why your work is relevant to the progress of science Simple questions: How does this affect me?
Results/Data Explanation of the work and why it is relevant Make the benefits clear, the why your research is important 
Audience Serious professional tone Appeal emotion wise and relatable
Visuals More complex figures, graphs an tables Respond best to clear images to help grasp concepts easily
Background Limit background, focus on where it is relevant to your topic Extensive use of background for clarity 

Similarities:

  • Meet audience where they are comfortable

  • Extract clear, simple key points from your research results

Here is a video that breaks down the most essential aspects to communicating with your audience, but also remembering that with different audiences, there are different ingredients needed!