Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Calmer nerves on presentation day

Yesterday was presentation day once again and I felt much less nervous than I had during our journal club presentations. Maybe it was because of my excitement for the holidays just around the corner. Maybe it was the relatively good night of sleep the night beforehand. Actually, while these two may factor into this sensation of calmer nerves, I think it was something entirely different.

We gave our presentations with our lab partners on topics we generated. On ideas we thought to be really exciting and good potential areas of research. This enthusiasm we had for our topic caused us to research the project more thoroughly, think about future iterations, and just genuinely care for our subject matter. My lab partner and I had compromised on a topic idea and so that in the end, both of us were excited by the topic we had generated! I attribute this enthusiasm we had for our topic to a less nervous feeling on presentation day. 

A second factor was the comfortable nature of the room. We were among our peers who were equally as excited by their ideas and very supportive. The 20.109 staff were also encouraging so it made for a much more supportive environment, as opposed to being drilled by angry-looking professors. So the audience also made a great difference in comfort levels. 

A third contributing factor was the presence and support of my lab partner on “stage.” Over the semester, we have gotten to know one another quite well, so it was nice to share the final presentation. It added an additional sense of comfort to presentation day. 

At first, this was strange to me. “Shouldn’t I be feeling much more nervous than I am?” I asked myself repeatedly. However, these combined factors of a great lab partner, supportive classmates and staff, and excitement in our idea really made yesterday a more enjoyable presentation experience for me.

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