The result of speaking up

In my previous post I shared that I was giving my first public presentation about my PhD research, it was to a group (small group) of colleagues from across campus. Most of whom I didn’t know.

Reader, I was nervous.

To mitigate my anxiety, and menopause memory challenges I decided I would read my presentation not attempt to remember it. I know my limitations, I wanted to make a good impression, and I knew I’d forget, be confused, waffle, and miss key points. So – one slide & a written speech.

Part (a lot) of my anxiety came from knowing I’d be asked questions and dreading not being able to answer – even though my supervisors had pointed out that I know enough about my subject now that I shouldn’t be worried. But, you know, those green/yellow anxiety gremlins do like to whisper things into my ear.

Anyway, speech given and I said the dreaded words “Does anyone have any questions”.

And it turned out really well. More than one person agreed this was interesting and important research, I was able to say sentences starting with “From my reading …” with something akin to confidence. And I articulated answers in coherent sentences.

I came away realising that I was doing something worthwhile, that I did know what I was talking about, and that if I create a framework or similar then there may be possibilities of a commercialisation spin-out.

But that is far in the future.

For now, I am happy I did it, and won’t be quite so anxiety-ridden next time.