I gave my practice talk yesterday. About 25 people came, including my bosses, my students, and most of the people I collaborate with in the Institute. The talk went well, I presented lots of cool results, I answered all the questions comfortably, and then asked for suggestions on how to fix/improve the talk. The audience gave me so many helpful comments that I pretty much have to start from scratch. It was a great talk for presenting my work to others in my field, but not so much for communicating with an audience of non-biologist non-demographers. So the beautiful Lexis Diagram has to go. The bar graph has to be chopped down. The definitions have to be less precise in order to be more clear. I need to have less detail on my research process and more on why the question is original. The slides should be prettier. And so on. It is sort of exhausting.
I am giving another practice talk next Thursday, this time to complete non-experts. By then I hope to make it comprehensible to that audience.