Signposting

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A bit of jargon in itself, signposting means to tell your audience what to expect from your activity at the beginning (though you can also signpost throughout, as a reminder). Signposting allows your audience to feel more confident and comfortable with what is going on, since they know what’s coming, and it can be quite important to reassure them, for example, that you’re not going to talk at them forever and that there will be some fun, interactive bits coming up soon! It also can help flag up the most important bits of your activity so that people can make sure to take them away from the experience.

Phrases you might include:

  • My topic today is…
  • First of all, I’ll… 
  • …and then I’ll go on to…
  • Then/ Next…
  • Finally/ Lastly…
  • You can ask questions at any point…
  • This is important because…
  • If you only remember one thing…
  • To summarise…

The important thing to remember is that your job is to engage with people when doing science communication and the best way to do that is to make it a two-way street or dialogue. Don’t drag them with you and expect them to follow along blindly; instead, let them know what’s coming so they can prepare and anticipate. Doing so will make it much easier for them to relax and enjoy what you’re sharing with them, and it may help them remember things from your interaction far better in the future.

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