I needed help! So I asked for tips – and this is what everyone told me:
- Hook them in from the beginning
- Tell a story
- Show you in your research
- Make your audience feel something
- Tell them why your research is special
- Keep it simple
- Make them laugh
- Take your time and use pauses
- Tell them why it matters
- Don’t get stuck in the details
- Prepare for under 3 minutes
Wowsers – being the queen of ‘write-a-lot-and-then-write-a-bit-more’ – how was I going to describe my PhD in 3 minutes (let alone do all of that)?!
What was I going to say?!
And, gulp, how was I going to remember it?!
Do I use post-its and mind-map it or do I write a speech and memorise it?
Well, I did both – started with the mind map and then wrote a speech. And cut it down. And cut it down. And then cut it down some more…
Then I practiced.
On the train. In the car. With my kids. With my husband. With my supervisor. With my colleagues…
On the train. In the car. Walking to the train. In the shower. In the mirror.
And phew – it was done! I could relax…
Yep – I had to get ready to do it all again!
So I needed to keep practicing.
And I realised that I needed to listen to some tunes to get me through it all. This album simultaneously calmed me down and pumped me up throughout my whole 3MT preparation time:
Then, it was time to do it again…
Yep – I’d convinced enough people at the combined faculty event that suddenly – I was in the UTS finals…
So I practiced some more.
On the train. In the car. With my kids. With my husband. With my supervisor. With my colleagues. On the train. In the car. Walking to the train. In the shower. In the mirror.
Then it got real.
The nerves were big but the crowd was awesome. I was able to share my PhD story and also hear about other PhD stories.
If you want to know more about the 3MT competition – other peeps have written eloquently about the process: Is it worth doing the three minute thesis?
The biggest thing that I took away from doing the 3MT?
It meant that I took a step back from my PhD research and really thought about what it all meant. What I had done. And why it was so important.