For this week’s post I thought that I would post about a research seminar in which I was a key presenter. The date of the event was 14/07/2016, and this was my chance to present some early findings and update my progress to one of my co-funders.
My presentation detailed my PhD research questions, the methods and forms of analysis that I have and will use and some early findings before finishing on the nest steps for my research.
Needless to say before the event I was quite nervous (it is well known that I intensely dislike public speaking). But after the nerves had subsided, dare I say I actually began to enjoy myself.
The event went extremely well and I received some very positive feedback from the event. My co-funders really appreciated the work that I had put into my PhD research and were excited to see how it would develop in the future. We even spoke informally about arrangements for future presentations.
Amidst all of these conversations I truly began to appreciate the importance and value of disseminating your research. Not only do events like this ‘force’ you to look at your work and summarise or think about what you have done and what you want to do, it can make you aware of how far you have come from the start of the project. This could be applied to any big research project, so for example this can include your undergraduate dissertation, master’s theses and beyond!
I remember other students talking to me of the importance of presenting and spreading your research but I don’t think that I truly appreciated and understood what they were telling me.I think at the time I was so scared of the thought of presenting that all messages were just lost on me. Now I am not saying that I have completely conquered my aversion to public speaking, but I think I have learnt to control my nerves a bit better. Hopefully, this will continue for me.
Therefore, I would urge any current and future students to take every opportunity to present any piece of work that you can. Even if it is just in front of your peers, the process can lead to greater understanding, explanation and evaluation for both you and your audience.
Thanks for reading