Practice, Practice, Practice

Sure, your Message Box looks good on paper, but how do you know if it will make sense to your audience?

At COMPASS, we find that feedback from others is an invaluable tool for improving Message Boxes, and we make that an integral part of our trainings. Test your messages on people who are unfamiliar with it, and keep the following questions in mind:

  • Do they understand and remember your main points?

  • What did they find confusing?

  • Did you accidentally use jargon?

  • Did your messages resonate with them?

  • Is there too much detail (confusing the main message)?

  • Was it too general (making it less relevant for your audience)?

  • Was your 'So What' appropriate for your audience?

A great way to get feedback on your Message Box is to form an on-site study group with other scientists. Groups of three to five people work well. Give each person 2-3 minutes to present their Message Box, and then have the group give concrete, constructive feedback for five minutes or so. If you're in the same field as others in your group, try to listen as if you were unfamiliar with the topics at hand, and provide feedback with that lens in mind. After receiving feedback, you can revise your Message Box to make your messages even clearer and more compelling.

 

Interested in going beyond the Message Box and hosting a training? Contact us!

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© 2023 by COMPASS Science Communication, Inc.