Vincent Rhodes, PhD, APR

Vincent Rhodes, PhD, APR, is Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications for EVMS. Previously, Dr. Rhodes served as Communications Manager and Clerk of the School Board for Norfolk Public Schools. Dr. Rhodes also taught high school English, journalism and TV production courses. Prior to becoming an educator, he served as managing editor of the national scuba diving magazine Sport Diver and as a scuba instructor. On top of winning accolades for his own writing, presentation development and creative work, Dr. Rhodes led an award-winning feature-magazine redesign and implemented a highly successful video program. He earned a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and a master's and doctoral degree from Old Dominion University. His dissertation focused on the use of social media and digital backchannel as a means of building community in distance learning environments.

Effective communication: Adapting to your audience

Talking about your research to your peers is often easy. They understand the science and know the terminology. But how effective are you at communicating with other audiences? They likely don’t have the scientific background. They likely don’t know the technical terms. With a little advanced preparation and practice, this won’t be a problem. This professional development byte will discuss how to assess your audience, how to employ analogies and simpler language without "dumbing down" the science, and how an elevator pitch can make your life much easier when speaking with the community, the media, legislators, donors and others. 

At the end of the professional development byte, you will:

  • Use proposed strategies for adapting communication to a particular audience
  • Determine the type of language (scientific or lay) most appropriate for the audience
  • Describe the function and merits of an "elevator pitch" and how to craft an elevator pitch effectively

Watch this professional development byte:


  1. Speaking in the Disciplines: Audience Adaptation, University of Pittsburgh
  2. Communication 101: Communication Basics for Scientists and Engineers, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  3. The Elevator Pitch: Presenting Your Research in Conversation, The Graduate School, University of Notre Dame
  4. The Elevator Pitch: How to Craft a Successful Five-Minute Elevator Pitch and Why Having One is Important, American Psychological Association, From the Science Student Council

Dr. Rhodes has disclosed he has no relevant financial relationships.