An opportunity to communicate your PhD to a non-specialist audience is not be spurned

Have you ever been at a talk or a conference or even the UCC Doctoral Showcase previously listening to a speaker and say; I can do that! I could probably do it even better if I put my mind to it?stage2

By Evin Allen

You may have and returned back to your desk or laptop professing that the next time such an opportunity arises, “I’ll grab it with both hands” or “that will be me next time”. You may have remarked to some of your colleagues that you heard a talk but it wasn’t that good (i.e. the speaker was a complete bluffer) and that you’ll be doing it next year (because I’m definitely not a bluffer). This crescendo of motivation and determination wanes gradually replaced by a litany of excuses interspersed with a healthy dose of procrastination. This I find is a case of self-bluffing/delusion that we all go through whether we like to admit it or not. I’ve done it numerous times, confessing that this is the last time. Yet with the next rainy morning I turn off my alarm clock and contemplate the bad cold I’ve astutely avoided by staying in bed.

Public speaking often evokes such a response in us all, except the 1% per cent who coast through after-dinner talks, comedy sketches and presentations and even seem to be addicted to public speaking. Yet in every facet of life we will be expected to verbalise our emotions, thoughts and ideas. It’s this ability to communicate that separates us from our furry friends out in the wild. Thus an opportunity to communicate your PhD to a non-specialist audience is not be spurned. Here’s a series of reasons why!

  • It’s free
  • Heats are closed to the public, so if you’re nervous don’t be.
  • In your next job interview, you will be asked to communicate your PhD, so get started here.
  • You receive positive constructive feedback! Unlike those bad memories of a U-10 little leagues match, nobody will ever tell you how bad you played and that you’ve left the team down!!
  • It’s great to put down on your CV, win or lose, as you may never get a chance to present your work elsewhere.
  • There are cash prizes (non-taxable income FYI!)
  • Why not!

The UCC Doctoral Showcase is definitely about participation rather than winning as cringe as that sounds (I’ve never won, I must disclose in case you think I’m preaching from a high horse). So Just do it!

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