Books, essays, and articles are the first things that come to mind when we think about research. But have you ever wondered how can you showcase your research in an alternative way that does not involve a written piece? Well, the LSE Student Idea Showcase 2021 offers you the opportunity to explore other methods to showcase your research creatively, from short films to research posters.
Using videos or photography to showcase your research allows you to exploit your artistic skills and link them to your academic work. Furthermore, as we are living in a fast-paced world, visual content is a convenient way to share your ideas and reach people from different disciplines and educational levels, especially when you have tools like social media to spread the word to a wider audience.
We talked to Manmit Bhambra, Aliya Rao and Nikita Simpson, LSE experts who presented their research in a short 10-minute video during the LSE Festival 2021, to discuss the benefits of showcasing your research in a visual format and share some tips on how to do this successfully.
- Structure your video
Before getting down to work it is important for you to frame your topic and to identify your target audience. After having done this you can define how you are going to show your research. You are free to choose the method that you feel most comfortable with, such as creating a video that briefly summarises what your research is about, providing an insight into the main concepts that you are working on, or simply telling a story using pictures. Whatever method you use, try to condense the information by focusing on the key terms.
- Make your research accessible
As students, we tend to internalise complex concepts that belong to our area of knowledge. This represents a major challenge when we want to show our research to people from other disciplines and educational backgrounds. Therefore, it is important for you to translate specific academic terms into commonly used words as it will allow you to make the content of your research more accessible for people outside your field. Avoid the use of jargon or acronyms, instead try using alternative vocabulary and examples to help the audience understand your ideas.
- Be yourself!
In contrast with a traditional written piece in which the methodology and the findings are the main attraction, using videos or photographs to showcase your research represents an opportunity for the audience to get to know the person behind it. As Manmit states “don’t be afraid to bring your own personality to your work”. Explain the motivations that led you to choose your topic, the obstacles that you faced during the development of your project, and how you overcame them. This will enable the viewers to have a more personal approach to your work.
- Creativity is key
Incorporate as many elements as possible. Images, titles, music, and other multimedia content can be used as evidence for your research and will help you keep the audience engaged. Explore alternative ways in which you can communicate your ideas. Feel free to divide your work into segments if you want to try different things but keep in mind that all the parts should be aligned with the message that you want to communicate and must be consistent with its academic purpose.
- Get feedback
Though many times we can put ourselves in the audience’s shoes, it may occur that the message that we want to transmit is not the same that the viewer is receiving. Ask friends or academic mentors to provide feedback on your work before submitting it. This will allow you to reshape your structure and make the necessary modifications to reach your audience the exact way you want.
So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for the Student Idea Showcase 2021 to embrace your inner artist and show hard work in a fun way!
Visit the conference webpage to find out how to submit your entry and more information about the event.