Monday, April 18, 2016

My Name is Liz and I Hate Public Speaking

Hate. Loathe. Detest. Abhor. Despise.

These are a few choice I words that I would use to describe my feeling towards the journal club presentation. Don't get me wrong, the paper I chose was pretty interesting and creating the slides wasn't that challenging, but the actual public speaking... that was pretty terrifying. 

I spent the day before trying to find an empty room using QuickRoom app. Let me tell you, I didn't think that finding a working projector at an institute of technology would be so challenging. 

Once I found a room with a working projector, I awkwardly stood in front of an empty classroom and rehearsed my spiel. Want to know what's even more awkward? A person abruptly opening the door in the middle of my presentation, staring blankly at me for a few seconds, and then blurting out that they were a half hour early for some event happening in the same room. Although I was frustrated that I had spent so much time finding what seemed to be the only functioning projector on campus, I smiled, said that yes, I could pack up and leave and I wished them a great night. 

It was the next day that the moment of truth came: my official journal club presentation. During the whole time leading up to my presentation I told anyone who would listen how much I hated public speaking and my anecdotes that supported my hostile feelings. In fact, I subjected poor Noreen to my story about the time I was supposed to give a speech persuading my 6th grades peers why I should represent them in the student government in my school. I didn't say a word. I just mutely stood there, my teacher trying to prompt me to speak with a couple of questions. Although it was one of my most embarrassing moments, the story did end with me winning the student government representative position due to the fact my competition was out sick that day. 

I'm glad to say that my journal club presentation did not proceed in the same way as my 6th grade student government speech. For one, I actually said words. I was audible and for the most part knew what I was talking about. As far I'm concerned, I consider my presentation a success.

However, there were definitely some things I could have improved on. Like, maybe I should have looked up information about zinc finger motifs, which was a very important part of my RNF138 E3 Ligase. I had somehow totally thought I knew what those were (tehe, if it wasn't obvious, I totally didn't) and so when the question was asked, I was super excited. Then I realized I had no clue how to answer. If there's one thing I learned, even when you think you're ready, go over everything again. You know, like the boy scout motto:

Although everything didn't go as planned, there is one thing that I can say:
I'm glad it's over.

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