The IGLP Talk: Presenting Your Ideas Succinctly

Presenting your ideas succinctly and clearly to specialists and non-specialists alike is a great skill to have. Doing so in a way that engages, opening space for response, further inquiry, and collaboration is even better.

Workshop participants do NOT present their work in the Writing Workshops. Your partner will do that and others will offer comments. You are there to learn, engage, reflect on your project as you listen to how others have read it.

At the end of the Writing Workshop, you will be asked to present your project in an IGLP Talk to your colleagues. You might think about how you wish to do that over the course of the week. The IGLP Talk is NOT an academic presentation such as you would make at a conference. We have suggestions on how to present your work on a panel available in case you have the opportunity to do that in the future.

The IGLP Talk is a 1-2 minute presentation designed to engage. It is not all about you — although you are the one giving the talk. It is about those you have engaged and those you wish to engage – about the discussion you came to, the intervention you are making, and the open questions you hope to encourage others to join you in exploring further.

Frame your Story
You will want to place your contribution, your finding, your proposal, your innovation at the center of your IGLP Talk. The audience wants to know what’s new, how you differ, what you add.

They are less interested in how you got there, what motivated you, the research adventure you undertook, the way you changed and learned as you thought about it. We want to know where you ended up and why that is important. What has been over or underestimated, by whom, and why does this matter?

But an IGLP talk is not a stand alone nugget of new information — your idea, your finding, your insight, take it or leave it. The goal is to engage. Put that innovation, that nugget — put yourself — in a relationship with other scholars, policy makers, people.

This has two parts:
First: Who are YOU engaging? What is the conversation you find interesting, the work you find worth reading, encouraging others to take seriously? This work may be all wrong — that is why you are intervening in the conversation — but it is a conversation worth engaging.

Second: How would YOU like to be engaged? What questions are left open? What remains poorly understood? What kind of work could you learn from? What venues of inquiry are opened up? Are there analogous questions or findings in other adjacent – or altogether different – fields which you intuit might be instructive?

As you plan your IGLP talk, think about how you would answer the questions below. You might organize your talk by allocating time to answer each in turn:

  1. What discussion or field or dispute are you engaging? (15 seconds)
  2. What do you see that others have not? What have you found that others have missed? (45 seconds)
  3. Why or how is this important? Why does it matter? (30 seconds)
  4. What next? What new questions do you have that others might help you understand? (30 seconds)