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One of the most terrifying questions scientists can get is “What do you do?” Even non-scientists are known to freeze up when asked this question. This phenomenon illustrates that, while we all should be able to explain what we do briefly and simply—without fear—it can often be challenging.
This type of response is known as the “elevator pitch,” for explaining what you do in the time it takes to ride an elevator. In addition to speaking to someone in an actual elevator, an elevator pitch is useful when anyone, other scientists included, asks “What do you do?” Being able to explain your science in a quick, efficient way helps non-scientists access your science to improve public perceptions of science and scientists and ensures that science that enters the public eye is accurate and not misinterpreted. We offer tips to help you ace any opportunity to explain your work.
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