One of the most accessible routes to engaging with the public is undertaking research busking. This is where you interact with members of the public, usually in a busy place like a railway station or shopping centre, and try to engage them in a couple of minutes with a research topic. It’s like an elevator pitch idea applied to a public setting and helps build confidence, develop good introductory approaches, and develop props that can act as 'hooks' into a routine. Here are some busking tips and if you are interested in upcoming opportunities, please get in touch.
- Building in audience participation will get your visitors paying more attention
- Sticking with a topic that you are passionate about will help you come across more effectively and appear confident
- Speak clearly and slowly (but not too slowly)
- Stay away from technical jargon unless you are introducing a particular name, but then explain it
- Stick to a short time for any introductory chat - you don't want to lose your audience early on!
- Where possible, create props or visual aids to liven up your delivery
- Ensure any demos can be done in a busy, perhaps stressful, environment - practising on the kitchen table at home is different from performing in a busy shopping centre
- Use questioning to constantly involve your audience, and be prepared to field 'left-field' questions
- Last but by no means least, have fun - if you aren’t having fun, the crowd are unlikely to be either!