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  • Translator: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Morton Bast

  • Five years ago, I experienced a bit

  • of what it must have been like to be Alice in Wonderland.

  • Penn State asked me, a communications teacher,

  • to teach a communications class for engineering students.

  • And I was scared. (Laughter)

  • Really scared. Scared of these students with their big brains

  • and their big books and their big, unfamiliar words.

  • But as these conversations unfolded,

  • I experienced what Alice must have when she went down

  • that rabbit hole and saw that door to a whole new world.

  • That's just how I felt as I had those conversations

  • with the students. I was amazed at the ideas

  • that they had, and I wanted others to experience this wonderland as well.

  • And I believe the key to opening that door

  • is great communication.

  • We desperately need great communication from our

  • scientists and engineers in order to change the world.

  • Our scientists and engineers are the ones

  • that are tackling our grandest challenges, from energy

  • to environment to health care, among others,

  • and if we don't know about it and understand it,

  • then the work isn't done, and I believe it's our responsibility

  • as non-scientists to have these interactions.

  • But these great conversations can't occur if our scientists

  • and engineers don't invite us in to see their wonderland.

  • So scientists and engineers, please, talk nerdy to us.

  • I want to share a few keys on how you can do that

  • to make sure that we can see that your science is sexy

  • and that your engineering is engaging.

  • First question to answer for us: so what?

  • Tell us why your science is relevant to us.

  • Don't just tell me that you study trabeculae,

  • but tell me that you study trabeculae, which is the mesh-like structure of our bones

  • because it's important to understanding and treating osteoporosis.

  • And when you're describing your science, beware of jargon.

  • Jargon is a barrier to our understanding of your ideas.

  • Sure, you can say "spatial and temporal," but why not just say

  • "space and time," which is so much more accessible to us?

  • And making your ideas accessible is not the same as dumbing it down.

  • Instead, as Einstein said, make everything

  • as simple as possible, but no simpler.

  • You can clearly communicate your science

  • without compromising the ideas.

  • A few things to consider are having examples, stories

  • and analogies. Those are ways to engage

  • and excite us about your content.

  • And when presenting your work, drop the bullet points.

  • Have you ever wondered why they're called bullet points? (Laughter)

  • What do bullets do? Bullets kill,

  • and they will kill your presentation.

  • A slide like this is not only boring, but it relies too much

  • on the language area of our brain, and causes us to become overwhelmed.

  • Instead, this example slide by Genevieve Brown is

  • much more effective. It's showing that the special structure

  • of trabeculae are so strong that they actually inspired

  • the unique design of the Eiffel Tower.

  • And the trick here is to use a single, readable sentence

  • that the audience can key into if they get a bit lost,

  • and then provide visuals which appeal to our other senses

  • and create a deeper sense of understanding

  • of what's being described.

  • So I think these are just a few keys that can help

  • the rest of us to open that door and see the wonderland

  • that is science and engineering.

  • And because the engineers that I've worked with have

  • taught me to become really in touch with my inner nerd,

  • I want to summarize with an equation. (Laughter)

  • Take your science, subtract your bullet points

  • and your jargon, divide by relevance,

  • meaning share what's relevant to the audience,

  • and multiply it by the passion that you have for

  • this incredible work that you're doing,

  • and that is going to equal incredible interactions

  • that are full of understanding.

  • And so, scientists and engineers, when you've solved

  • this equation, by all means, talk nerdy to me. (Laughter)

  • Thank you. (Applause)

Translator: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Morton Bast

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B1 US TED wonderland jargon nerdy bullet understanding

【TED】Melissa Marshall: Talk nerdy to me (Melissa Marshall: Talk nerdy to me)

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    yuying posted on 2017/01/19
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