Wednesday, May 11, 2016

When Nerves Take Over

Journal club. Thinking back on my performance in the journal club presentation, I was absolutely mortified. I knew going into it that I hadn't practiced and that it was going to be difficult to give the presentation, considering I barely understood the paper myself. 

So, starting with first lesson learned - make sure you choose a paper that you can actually understand. I rushed through the selection process and ended up with a paper that was so complicated for me to grasp, especially in the short time I read it, that I had barely processed a lot of the information from the paper by the time journal club came around. 

That brings me to point number two - read the paper! Read it once, twice, forward, backwards, make sure you have that paper well understood! Truly understanding the paper probably would have helped me a lot with my unrehearsed presentation. 

You probably know where I'm going with this last point - practice your presentation. It doesn't matter how good of a presenter you think you are. I have done so many presentations I can't even count. However, the biggest difference between those "good" presentations and this "disastrous" one is that I actually practiced all those other presentations. 

Thus, my fatal flaw for this journal club presentation was my lack of understanding of the paper and the fact that I did not rehearse, both of which made me extremely nervous. And once nerves take over, they are so hard to shake. Watching my presentation again made me realize how fast I spoke and how discombobulated my statements were. For the next presentation, I definitely practiced a LOT which I think paid of significantly in the end. I totally exterminated those nerves!

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