Dressing Your Ideas

I’m a huge Hercule Poirot fan.

I’ve read most of the novels by Agatha Christie. I love the many adaptations featuring David Suchet. Indeed, this isn’t the first time that I’ve exercised my little grey cells to write a post with the Belgian Detective in mind.

For our recent anniversary my wife bought me a little book of Poirot quotes. The first quote listed in the book really resonated with me:

“Words, mademoiselle, are only the outer clothing of ideas.”

I like this. Words express ideas; they’re not the ideas themselves. When one responds to a question – say, in the viva – one has to choose words to help express the idea one wants to share. Words are only the outer clothing though. It’s important then to pick them carefully when responding to a question.

Practise or rehearsal before the viva can help a lot. Time spent reflecting on fundamental concepts or the findings of your research can help you to share your ideas effectively.

Exercise your little grey cells in preparation and you’ll be rewarded when you make the same efforts in the viva.