You’ve experienced this, right? Someone asks you about your research. You start to respond. And before you get to the really interesting part their eyes glaze over (bad) or someone interrupts and starts a new conversation topic (worse). Now this doesn’t always happen, of course (although when someone actually expresses real interest I tend to talk their ear off)… but it does happen.
Anyway, Ph.D. Comics has an annual competition where people submit a two minute explanation of their research. Then, the winners are animated. It’s pretty fascinating to see the tremendous diversity in what people research for their dissertation/thesis. It’s also a nice challenge. Can you describe your research in a way that would be understandable (and interesting) to the average person and only takes two minutes? Ready… Set… Go!