This is a short excerpt, showing only the recommendations, from a repost on Climate Progress of the blog of Scott Mandia, a meteorologist and Professor of Physical Sciences who helped launch the Climate Science Rapid Response Team.
Distilling Your Message:
- Start with a take-home message. Let them know why they should care.
- Avoid the science jargon but do not “dumb it down”.
- Use drama and tell a story (déjà vu anyone?)
- Emphasize the discoveries and not the caveats.
- Connect it to people’s lives somehow.
- Do not be modest – be proud of your work and show it.
Beware the Curse of Knowledge:
- Once we know it, it becomes hard to imagine anybody else not knowing it.
- Experts use jargon without even realizing it because it is everyday language for them.
Beat the Curse:
- Know the audience.
- Wear their shoes.
- What is their world-view? (I tried this technique in my blog post How to Talk to a Conservative about Climate Change v.2)
- How do I connect?
- This is very hard and takes advance preparation.
How to Connect & Engage:
- Keep the message simple.
- Find a few core points/ideas and stick with them.
- Capture attention by emphasizing the unexpected.
- Display emotion.
- Use metaphors, analogy, stories, etc. (I use this technique often and I find it very effective. See A Conversation at a Poker Game and Consensus Isn’t Science? for a few of my examples.)
You can read details on each suggestion above, and a lot more about this extremely important topic, on Climate Progress.