In my line of work, I often give test facility tours. About half of them are to people unfamiliar with high vacuum testing or electric propulsion. I actually think I do fine with these, because rather than point at some big steel and spew a bunch of large numbers than no one can relate to, I try to teach a bit using colloquial terms and comparisons to everyday things.
Instead of saying that the water flow rate of Plum Brook's B2 test stand is a quarter-million gallons of water per minute, I compare it to the flow over the Bridal Veil Falls at Niagara. It's much easier to picture and appreciate.
Anyway, this week I was asked to cover a tour of the GRC Electric Propulsion Laboratory for a group of VIP visitors in to observe the re-enactment of the Center's ground breaking of 75 years ago. I was a test engineer there, a researcher, and its manager so I tend to be able to tailor my talk to a variety of audiences.
So I gave my spiel and found it well-received. Among the audience members was a local weatherman for the WKYC television station who, like everyone else, was busy taking pictures and asking the occasional question.
The next day, when I got to the lab I was greeted as "Hollywood" instead of the usual Jay Z. The guys had seen me on the news that morning. Heh. I'm quick to dish it out, so it was all good fun to be on the receiving end of the ribbing.
I don't know how long this link will remain active, so here's a still shot of me giving that talk.