CommPlexity: Communicating Complex Ideas

What Is CommPlexity?

CommPlexity is a powerful learning experience specifically designed for scientists, and other highly-specialized professionals, who need to clearly communicate complex information in compelling ways that connect with others. The techniques taught in CommPlexity are both evidence-based and practice-proven. CommPlexity Workshop participants learn to:

  1. Understand the CommPlexity Formula – the four drivers that move someone to enlist, subscribe, buy, join, support, or otherwise commit.
  2. Create Strong Narratives – shape powerful narratives so that others can see, feel, and experience what is being communicating
  3. Develop an Authentic Voice – personal and unique ways to connect with others

What Does a CommPlexity Workshop Look Like?

There are two basic types of CommPlexity Workshops: (1) CommPlexity: The Fundamentals and (2) CommPlexity: Advanced Practice.

CommPlexity: The Fundamentals. This two-hour workshop provides participants with an overview of the three aspects of CommPlexity: (1) understanding the CommPlexity formula, (2) creating strong narratives, and (3) developing an authentic voice. Participants walk away with practical tools and templates they can begin using right away to better communicate their science or other expertise in ways that connect meaningfully with others. Each participant receives a set of materials that include templates and outlines they can use to provide focus and clarity to their message. This workshop can be offered onsite or virtually to cohorts of up to 25.

CommPlexity: Advanced Practice. This is a deep dive into the same topics covered in the shorter workshop. It is taught over the course of two days. Participants are asked to come to the workshop with a short talk (3-4 minutes) about an area of their work. Then, through a series of exercises, participants continue to refine their talk using CommPlexity techniques. Toward the end of the second day, participants give their talk again applying the new insights and techniques they have learned. Both their initial talk and the refined talk are videotaped and provided to them after the workshop so they can see how their ability to communicate their subject matter has improved. Each participant receives a set of advanced templates and outlines. This workshop is designed for smaller cohorts of 10-14 and can be delivered both onsite and virtually. 

Who Designed and Delivers CommPlexity?

Scott Hutcheson, PhD designed and delivers the CommPlexity program. The program is adapted from a workshop developed by Bob Sadler. We are grateful to Bob for his generous help in developing this program. Dr. Hutcheson is a faculty member in the Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation at Purdue University. He has worked with hundreds of scientists, and other highly-specialized professionals, from dozens of research universities, several of the national labs, and federal entities including NSF, NIH, NASA and the White House Lab to Market Initiative. Dr. Hutcheson is a proven communicator with recognitions and awards as a creative nonfiction writer and an Emmy-nominated documentarian for PBS affiliate WFYI in Indianapolis.

Does CommPlexity Work?

CommPlexity was developed through a series of beta workshops with university researchers. The following are some of the results from these developmental workshops. Since then, evaluation data has been consistent with these early results.

  • Overall Impact. 95% of participants responded that what they learned in workshops will have a positive impact on their ability to talk about their research.
  • Strong Narrative. 100% of participant reported that using the workshop techniques will strengthen the narrative quality of the way they present their research.
  • Authentic Voice. 86% of listeners indicated that to speaker completing the workshop communicate in a more authentic voice
  • A Personal Connection. 100% of participants reported that the ability to connect their research to a personal element increased their ability to effectively communicate their research.

How Do I Bring CommPlexity to My Organization?

To schedule a CommPlexity workshop or to get additional information, please contact us using the button below.

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