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Communicating Research: Planning & Recording

The guide provides tips and tools for under graduate students to help them communicate their research.


How long is a 3-5 minute video?

Depends: Can your message get across in the time you plan, will the elements you plan to include.
  • Length of the Script
  • Pauses
  • Additional presentation material (clips/ music/ transitions)
  • Your normal speaking speed

Best Practices with Presentation Length

  • Write what you are going to say even if you do not plan to read a script
  • Read the script aloud to make sure words flow together
  • Time yourself in a natural speaking/recording voice
  • Record yourself and listen to how you sound

Keep it interesting

  • Tone of your voice and intonation
  • Project an animated expression even if you are not showing a recording of your face

Project your voice

  • Does not mean you shout or turn up the recording or playback volume
  • Make sure your audio is clear

Build interest

  • Think about your audience. Why might they want to listen to you
  • Consider what may be of interest to them in your research/finding
  • How it might be relevant to their experience
  • Consider a hook in your storyline to peak interest
  • Why should someone listen to you?
  • Convince them that what you say matters to them

Activity: Consider a hook in your storyline.


  • Have you wondered…?
  • Are you worried about the rise in superbugs? A 2018 research found that simple hand-washing…
  • Climate Change is deeply intertwined with economic security. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that…

These hooks can be simple appeal to people’s emotions and curiosity or statements of research – but they cannot be misleading or false

  • Personal Introduction -> Hook -> background -> statement of research question -> methods -> primary results and conclusions -> sign off
  • Short Hook -> Personal Introduction -> Broader Problem statement -> background -> statement of research question -> methods -> primary results and conclusions -> sign off


  • What makes your research memorable?
  • Maybe tie it back to your hook or problem statement
  • Maybe give an action item for your audience to leave with

Recording Best Practice Basics

Audio best practices

  • Consider your background audio
    • fan/vents/and appliance noise and noise sources
    • Dogs barking
    • Street noises
    • The potential of room/house mates/family members walking by or making noise
      • E.g.: People doing dishes or home repair work
  • Use a microphone if you have one available
    • Be aware of the microphone placement to avoid rubbing against clothes
    • To avoid clicking, typing and rustling sounds in your workspace
  • Test your recording volume
    • Be aware of your breathing into the microphone

Video recording best practices

If you are filming yourself:

  • Consider your background
    • Consider a plain background
    • If not plain, consider what shows in your background
    • Keep some distance from your background to avoid shadows
      • Especially if you have a bright light source and a dark room behind you
  • Face a light source like a window or lights
  • Avoid a light source behind you like a window or lights visible on the camera
  • Keep distractions out of your background – fans, people walking past
  • Do not have your camera and light source below your face line, nor, too high above
    • slightly above is fine
  • Keep some distance from the camera