Cutting the fat

Less is more. Real examples to make texts shorter, clearer and more convincing

brevity unidirectional path

As painful as it is for you NOT to explain every single detail about your work, every single experiment you tried, every single idea that pops into your head…. being disciplined in your research communication will make your work more concise, more processable and more convincing. One of our strengths is helping our clients create tight, smooth-flowing stories out of long, wandering, unwieldy behemoths. Here is a series of examples of how we can bring a surgeon’s knife to your work. 

Magna Carta

Our communications philosophy in a (visual) nutshell

Our goal is to help you communicate your research to external audiences as concisely and clearly as possible. In a way that clarifies and convinces, even before audiences can formulate their questions and doubts. This graphic recording lays out many of the foundations of our philosophy. You are welcome to re-use the visual as long as you cite this website as the source.

Commissioned Article

How to “sell” your research to your peers

This piece, commissioned by the European Association for Cancer Research, explores why presenting your research effectively to colleagues means thinking a bit differently.

Tip Sheet 72

“If no one understands the science, it doesn’t exist”: the importance of knowing your audience

You know the conundrum: if a tree falls in a forest without witnesses, does it make a sound? Science tells us that sound waves need no listener to exist, but scientific results are not so lucky: if no one considers your experiments important, they may as well not exist. This Tip Sheet discusses the need to know your target audience and to optimize your communication accordingly.

Tip Sheet 36

Empowering your scientific language by making it “visualizable”

Francis Crick observed, “There is no form of prose more difficult to understand and more tedious to read than the average scientific paper.” Most scientific research deals with ideas that we cannot easily visualize with our eyes or even with our “mind’s eye”. This Tip Sheet describes some ways to write “visually” to make your work clearer and more attractive.

Tip Sheet 102

Guide your listeners along the red thread, so they don’t hang by one

William Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. Likewise, a scientific talk by any other name would fill most people with dread. This Tip Sheet describes some ways to create a more coherent story.

 Tip Sheet 17

Mimicry, your ego, and your research story

When you present your own work, you want to sound like established scientists in your field, so you borrow elegant turns of phrase from their papers and conference talks. But this often leads you to dress up your unique story in someone else’s clothes, with unfortunate consequences. This Tip Sheet encourages you to focus on your real story, not some shiny packaging.