Let me share a scenario that I’ve been in a lot, and I want you to think about if you’ve had a similar experience.
I’m listening to an explanation of someone who is “above” me in their academic career. This tends to be a professor, researcher, or maybe even my supervisor. They are explaining some technical detail of an idea. Every so often, they look my way and end their sentence in a way that asks if I’m following.
Almost always, I nod. Even if I’m not really following anymore.
You’re giving a presentation. Mindful that you should ease people into your topic, you start gentle. Things are going great, and then you go to your first example. When planning your talk, you had an easy example, but then you figured that people would think it was too easy. So you added a more complex one, closer to something you were studying in your work.
As a graduate student, I’m no stranger to reading lots of papers. Okay, that’s not quite true. I’m used to reading parts of papers. We don’t tend to go through the whole thing like you might a book. Instead, I’m looking for bits that might be useful for me.