Anthony Bonifonte on talking tech to non-techies
Data Analytics gives students the capacity to tap into deep wells of data and figure out how to make sense of complex situations. Communicating that knowledge to people unfamiliar with information is an integral part of the work of a data analyst. Denison’s Anthony Bonifonte, recently presented a two-hour minitutorial focused on effective communication for nontechnical audiences to the prestigious Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) annual meeting.
SIAM recently featured Bonifonte’s presentation where he structured the minitutorial around three topics: Know Your Audience, Jargon Busting, and So What?
He notes that when talking about research, speakers should consider the audience, their background and education, how well they know the topic, level of mathematical sophistication, and (hopefully) appreciation of humor. You also need to be able to pivot.
“Your message is the same, but what you say, how you say it, and the examples you give can vary based on who you think your audience is,” he says.
Bonifonte knows this first-hand. He is a SIAM Science Policy Fellowship recipient. In this role, he works with the SIAM Committee on Science Policy to learn about advocacy and attends the biannual committee meetings in Washington, D.C. Bonifonte also partakes in an annual advocacy day on Capitol Hill, during which he interfaces with politicians and office representatives—who have no mathematics background—about federal investment in applied mathematics and computational science.