October 09, 2013

Presenting your work

Hello fellow bloggers!

Yesterday I presented some of my research at a lab meeting and got a bit of a grilling (in my opinion anyway!) so I thought it was worth having a bit of a discussion about.

I always find it a bit tricky answering unexpected questions on the spot, you want to answer quickly and comprehensively, but I find this difficult when an audience is watching. Over time, I have become more comfortable with my research in the sense that I understand more about what I am doing and why. I think my ability and confidence in thinking on the spot has therefore improved. However, I still can't help sometimes feeling a little down after having a meeting where multiple questions have been fired at me and I'm not sure if I answered them as best as I could have.

After yesterdays meeting, I was trying to get on with the rest of my day, but ended up thinking a lot about the questions I had been asked and whether I could have answered them better. This made me feel a little fed up, but I decided to combat this feeling by writing down all the questions I could remember. If I build up a list of questions that people ask me when I present, I can start to not only improve my presentations to make certain points clearer, but also start to recognise the common questions and develop comprehensive answers to them.

This way, I hope I can present with confidence and not develop a fear of impending post-presentation questions! I have tried to put a positive action with what I thought was a negative experience- I don't think I'll ever get such an in-depth grilling outside of my lab meetings and the fact that I get so many questions means I will be better prepared when presenting my research to a wider audience!

So, don't fear the questions! They only allow you to think about your research and its message more carefully!


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