These are some tricks that I use to get my ideas together. One of them might work for you. Try a few. Try them with dissertations, proposals, presentations, or emails.
- Make some key figures
- I find it focuses my mind on what really matters, and makes me think about evidence and clarity.
- After making one or two key figures, it helps to write your conclusions. For papers, aim for two or three short ones at most. Theses need more!
- Convince a skeptic
- An ancient trick. Develop your arguments as if you had to convince the most skeptical person you know.
- Dentist at a party
- Imagine explaining the point of your work to a well- educated professional at a cocktail party. Don't bore them!
- One minute
- The elevator pitch. Imagine you have one minute to explain yourself to the company president and/or Nobel committee.
- One thing
- If there was one single thing you wanted your audience to remember (if you're lucky!), what is it? Make it so.
- The f**k
- @ryanmerkley's advice: menace yourself. Instead of answering easy questions like 'what's your work about?', or 'why is it important?', try answering these:
- What the f**k is your work about?
- Why the f**k is it important?
- Why the f**k should I read this?