What language do you use?

The language of your communication is crucial to connect with your audience. If you do not communicate in the same language, the message will not be conveyed successfully.

Country-specific language

For written and verbal communication the language of course needs to be the same as the one of the audience. Using some of the larger languages in the world can be tempting, but if your goal is to strengthen your scientific profile in the public media, then your audience consists of journalists and then you might be better off communicating in your country’s native language.

Level of complexity

Be aware if you use any technical terms or abbreviations in your communication that your audience does not understand. Some public speakers use technical phrases to ‘invite the audience into their own environment’, but unfortunately it can have the opposite effect and create a gap between you and your audience.

Online language

Social media have a whole dynamic language of their own with emojis, handles, abbreviations and hashtags. There are no correct ‘SoMe’-grammar, but using especially hashtags on media like Twitter can be useful for you to reach journalists and politicians. Depending on your topic some hashtags are more effective than others, and the best way is to study how other people in your field have used them. For anything with science communication, always use #scicomm.

Body language

Body language is essential in talks and videos where you present a scientific topic. Make sure you face your audience unless there is a good reason not to and try to have eye contact when possible. It will create a feeling of presence among the audience and yourself.