Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Practice makes perfect

At the end of the summer last year, I had to give a presentation on the research I had done over the summer. The idea of this was rather nerve-racking at first, but my PI and lab mates were very supportive and helpful. They listened to me give my presentation a million and one times. On the day of the presentation, my fear of public speaking was nowhere to be found; it was a miracle. I was very confident when I gave my presentation, and afterwards, I received compliments on it.

After that positive experience with giving a science presentation, I didn't think the journal club presentation could be that bad. I read my paper several times, got the bits and pieces of it that weren't clear clarified, and prepared my slides. I was awfully proud of my genetically modified tomatoes idea for my introduction and conclusion, and I thought my presentation would be flawless, like my summer one... I was wrong. Maybe it was my busy schedule at MIT or maybe even sheer complacency that caused it, but I fell into the trap that is not practicing sufficiently for a presentation. During my meeting to discuss the presentation with Noreen, I decided to concentrate on counting the number of times I said "um" or "uh" instead of listening to the sound of my voice. It turned out that it was a phenomenal 27 times in about 9 minutes- 4 ums per minute. I thought that was pretty remarkable, and sad.

Well the journal club presentation did teach me a useful lesson for the future- no matter how confident you think you are, practice, practice, practice, because practice does make perfect.

Don't think like our dear friend down here

Image result for practice makes perfect meme

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