UCL Public Policy


Presenting research to policy professionals

When presenting research to policy professionals you need to think about your audience, consider the context, be concise and focused and engaging and open to questions. Here are some tips from the UCL Public Policy team on presenting research to policy professionals.

Think about your audience

Who are they? Why might they be interested in your research? What might they be most interested in? What policy problem are they trying to find the solution to?

Consider the policy context

Think about how your research might fit into the broader policy context and why it matters; show that you have some understanding of this. Also consider why your research might offer solutions. Be concise Policy professionals have limited time and attention span, and deal with a vast range of information and inputs on a daily basis.

Focus on your findings

Don’t go into detail on research methodology; policy professionals are more interested in the state of the evidence base, and what your research shows than how you did it. Be as clear and definitive as possible. Don’t overstate the case, but don’t hedge your conclusions. Be honest about what you think.

Don’t use academic jargon

Use clear accessible language; make your research simple to understand (but not simpler).

Be engaging

Offering examples of lived experience can help to illustrate a point or make things more immediate or personal. Tell a personal story and interact with your audience. Ask them questions.

Be open to questions and future engagement

State your willingness to discuss further or be contacted in the future. Use an appropriate format PowerPoint presentations (with clear, simple slides and diagrams) are good for larger audiences but less so for smaller groups.


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