Thursday, April 14, 2016

Easier Said Than Done...or Pictured?

I don't know about you, but in high school, we were advised during our public speaking class to picture our audience as if they were present in nothing but their underpants. It's laughable, but it was a technique that worked for some of my friends in high school. The logic behind it? "It takes away their appearance of superiority, which makes them more approachable and less intimidating," my teacher explained. As for me? Nope. The only person I could ever imagine in their underpants was this guy:
*fast forward to April 7, 2016 aka Day 2 of TR journal club presentations*

To put it bluntly, I was distracted on the day of journal club presentations due to family circumstances that cropped up the week before. Long story short, my mom was trying to call me from a hospital in Taiwan and wanted to videochat me all while I was trying to pay attention to my classmates' presentations and remember that SIRT1 is a "mammalian NAD-dependent deacetylase". I was given the chance to present to the instructors another day, but I knew it wouldn't be fair to my classmates, and it was better to get it over with anyway. When it was my turn to present, up I went to the front of the room to tell everyone how "SIRT1 inhibition impairs non-homologous end joining DNA damage repair by increasing Ku70 acetylation in chronic myeloid leukemia cells".

the way I thought I'd be presenting:

how I actually felt:

Given that I had practiced presenting in my empty double a couple times before (and my roommate's poor prefrosh had to listen to me spout jargon about gamma-H2AX markers and olive-tail moments), I got into a good speaking flow, but there were times when I stumbled across words or *gasp* mentioned a point that wasn't explained by text or a figure on my slide and I had to fight to keep smiling and pretend everything was going to be okay. But in the end, it was! My presentation was neither too short nor too long, and after the end of the Q&A, I was none the worse for wear.

Takeway: Your presentation doesn't have to be perfect. We're all human. #bringonthosefuturepresentations

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