CS 380 Lab 5: Project Communication (Part I: Elevator
Communicating your idea in a concise and clear manner is essental for
every project (in-class, research, professional, etc.) you will ever
do. It is often recommended that you prepare several descriptions
of your project of differing durations, including a 30 second elevator
talk, 2 minute, and 5 minute descriptions. This way, you
prepared to describe the project for however long your audience is
available. Often times, you will only have the chance to present
the brief 30 second elevator talk. If the person is interested,
you may have the opportunity to go into a more detailed description,
but usually you must capture your audience's interest within a very
short amount of time. Having a good elevator talk of your project
can be the difference between getting funding/approval and having your
work dismissed. For this reason, it is essential to communicate
the key aspects of your project in a concise and clear manner that
captures the audiences interest.
In this lab, you will create two items: a 1.5-2 minute overview and a
30 second elevator talk. Start out by writing a 1.5-2 minute
overview of your project. Time yourself reading it aloud.
You should include the following:
This is a lot to communicate in that amount of time, but it is
completely doable. Be careful not to assume too much knowledge on
the part of your
audience (it should be accessible to a general audience) and be careful
to write text that is easy to read aloud. If it sounds wrong when
read it aloud, then revise the text. One of the best ways to
good writing is to ensure that the text sounds good when read aloud.
- What is the problem you are trying to solve?
- What is the motivation for the problem / how is it done today?
- What is your approach to solving the problem?
- What are the expected outcomes of your approach / why do you
think it will work?
Now trim that overview down to a 30 second elevator talk by hitting
only the key points without sacrificing clarity. Read your talk
(out loud and at a comfortable pace!!) to ensure that it is 30
seconds. Again, be certain that the talk sounds good when read
aloud, ensure that it clearly and concisely communicates the four
points above, and make absolutely sure that it captures the audience's
Include your two talks with your journal. I strongly recommend
typing these so that you can edit them easily.