Explain your research briefly, tailored for your target audience.
Varying messages for specific groups are often needed – so material for clinicians will need emphasis and language that is different from material for the general public. Start by assessing why they might be interested. Is this work going to help them address a problem they have? Try checking you are covering the following key questions:
WHAT did you find out? about your findings.
WHY this research matters? a straightforward explanation of why you selected your research question and the context in which you are working.
HOW did you answer your research question? a simple description of your method, in lay terms, noting important limitations.
You’ll notice that – unlike the general structure of an academic paper – the intention is to give your readers (or listeners) the topline findings first. This is what will encourage them to read the rest of your message. You can then explain why these findings matter by explaining the real world context and the rationale for your research. In your summary of methods you are aiming to give your reader the information they need in order to trust that your findings are valid and useful.