With more than a decade of career experience as a researcher and research manager in the fields of health, sport and medical research, Tamika is one of a small number of individuals in Australia certified in Knowledge Translation, which facilitates the creation of relevant research and the delivery of findings through changes in practice, programs and policy. Tamika is the Principal of Knowledge Translation Australia, a Consulting service to train researchers and research users in Knowledge Translation methods and tools; to support them to implement knowledge translation practices within new and existing research projects and grants; and to link researchers and research users to ensure research impact. For the past two years Tamika has been the Principal of Knowledge Translation Australia, a Consulting service to trains researchers and research users in Knowledge Translation methods and tools; to support them to implement knowledge translation practices within new and existing research projects and grants; and to link researchers and research users to ensure research impact.
Tamika founded Knowledge Translation Australia in 2014 “to change the way we use research knowledge for the better good of society.” Heiden leads workshops, training sessions and presentations to bring research knowledge out of the ivory tower so it can make a positive impact.
“I work with researchers to engage their end users to make sure that what they’re doing does solve a legitimate problem and is relevant to people who’d be likely to need it or use it,” Heiden explains.
“As part of the training, I’ve been using Zeetings, and it’s gotten a lot of interest,” she told us. “This tool is the first thing I’ve seen that meets the needs of what I’m teaching people to do.”
Since she began using Zeetings in workshop situations and conferences, Heiden said her audiences are demonstrably more engaged and attentive. “Instead of talking at people for an hour, I’m using Zeetings to intermittently get feedback, so they have to pay attention. Audiences also stay engaged because they’re interested in what everyone else is saying.”
“Zeetings gives you that workshop feel. It’s how we turn the presentation into a conversation.”
When presenting research data and other highly technical information, communicating complex ideas in a way that’s easily understood is an ongoing challenge, said Heiden. “With Zeetings Poll feature, I can say, ‘OK, fifty percent of you in the room don’t get it? Let’s talk about that.’ By understanding your audience, you get a chance to tailor what you’re saying,” she said.
“Often, the people I’m working with don’t know how to communicate in a non-academic way, how to change their language and talk to people. Zeetings helps academics know whether they’re being understood.”
“Zeetings gives you that workshop feel,” said Heiden. “It’s how we turn the presentation into a conversation.” To connect with attendees, Heiden uses Zeetings’ Poll and Live Q&A features to ask questions about her presentation topic so she can collect hard data about how well she’s being received. “It’s a great mechanism for getting live feedback from my audience, right there in the room.”
Heiden recommends that all educators collect data from students after training sessions. “Before I came across Zeetings, I was collecting people’s names and following up with a survey,” she said. “We know people don’t answer surveys when you email them, so the best way is to do it live.”
After using Zeetings to present at a conference, Heiden used Insights to collate Poll results and Live Q&A responses from attendees. “I was able to send that feedback to the organizers as a measure of the success of my presentation and my message,” she said. “I think it’s a really valuable thing to do, especially if someone’s paid you to present, and you can say, ‘there’s the value I gave you.'”
“We know people don’t answer surveys when you email them, so the best way is to do it live.”
Heiden said working with Zeetings has raised her game: “It makes you a better presenter because you have to think about what information you want from your audience as you go, as opposed to just thinking about what you want to tell people,” she said.
“I’m so sick to death of academics who put you to sleep. We’re competing against mobile phones, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the news site on your phone because we have to keep people’s attention,” said Heiden, who also coaches clients on their presentation skills.
“You have to be a really dynamic speaker to hold someone’s interest. So if you’re not, this is a really good tool to help with that.”