I spent the day yesterday at the NSF CISE CAREER workshop. It was excellent, and I strongly encourage any young US CS faculty to go to a future installment or watch the online videos if a CAREER proposal is in their future.
One thing that came up repeatedly is the need to clearly — and concisely — explain your research. Several program directors referenced the Heilmeier Catechism, the first question of which is “What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.” Another brought up that it’s important to be able to explain briefly what you’re doing (or planning to do).
I’ve been adopting something like this in my talks for a few years now. When I’m giving a research seminar, one of my first few slides is ‘#1TweetResearch’: how would I convey, in a single tweet, the overall thrust of my work? Here’s the slide from my last seminar: