I presented my research this past weekend and it went successfully, definitely a learning experience. I was fifth on a panel with PhD students and Faculty members from other universities, obviously intimidating. Luckily, I had prepared my presentation plenty and was ready to go! I’m stopping by to share how the different advice I got on presenting worked when I was actually presenting.
I wrote 6 pages of notes for my 12 minutes of talking BUT the presider of the session decided to give everyone 15 minutes… I practiced timing my presentation so many times where I had it down to 12:38 three times in a row! I was so ready for the 12 minutes.
So there was some last minute adjusting that I needed to do, luckily I was the fifth presenter so I took notes during the other presentations. By taking notes I was able to keep track of the interesting points that the other presenters made that related to different parts of my presentation.
I may have fiddled around with the advice about content because I went and had my thesis advisor go through my slides and adjust my focus. I really wanted to make sure that the audience understood that understandings of consent aren’t as simple as having a policy and then people using that policy. I gave some history and background but the most important thing for me was the quotes, I had quotes on the slides from women I interviewed. I find that when presenting qualitative data quotes can draw the audience in more than anything else.
Q & A:
As fifth presented we went straight from my presentation to questions, so I was a little bit out of breath and out of sorts as the questions began. I was asked some questions and I was able to answer. Since the presider let each presenter go longer than expected we didn’t have much time for questions at the end.
Not making a goodbye slide was the greatest advice! My final slide was up for the entirety of the question and answer section.
I also dressed in a sweater and a dress because the conference FAQ said it was a mix of casual and business professional.
Overall, I really enjoyed presenting. I was still more nervous than I would have liked to be but next time I’ll be less nervous because I’ll have a better idea of the situation. Practicing speaking and writing a script that I could read “just in case” really made it so I felt comfortable with the content of what I talked about. This presentation was also useful because it was the Saturday before I defended the same research in my thesis defense, so my nerves were much better for that one.
If you want to see my power point from this presentation go on over to portfolio!
Do you have any advice that you got that didn’t end up fitting in with your presentation experience?