Thursday, April 9, 2015

Journal Club!

Just a few days ago, I was given the "pleasure" of watching a video of myself give the Journal Club presentation. I'll just be honest and say that I wasn't exactly looking forward to the notion of hearing myself talk on video for ten minutes... but it really wasn't too bad. First, wearing an outfit that you like is key as I knew I would at least have one positive thing to think about during the video. Turns out, there were a lot of other positives that I noticed and I learned so much from talking to Atissa and hearing her suggestions.

The Public Speaking Aspect: I've never been afraid of public speaking. I don't exactly love it as I would categorize myself as more of a listener, but after all of my positions on various executive boards, I've learned to be completely confident in getting in front of people and saying what needs to be said. I think public speaking on an academic subject is slightly harder for me since I have less experience and sometimes I struggle to put all the facts and information in my head into eloquent language. I was confident that I knew the material, but there was a slight disconnect in my presenting ability, which I think will absolutely improve with experience and with the notes from this presentation. One thing that really helps me in public speaking is that fact that I really don't tend to embarrass easily so I usually have no problem getting in front of people and just going for it. No matter how badly I could have done on the Journal Club presentations, I can almost guarantee I've lived through and giggled off a much more embarrassing experience. Let's just say that I used to be a little klutzy, so I know how to pick myself up off the ground and smile just about anything off with ease.

You're Probably Your Own Worst Critic: I know for sure I am. I didn't mind watching the video as much as I initially thought, but by comparison of my own comments to Atissa's I could tell that I was much harsher on myself. I think it only made it worse that there was so much time in between the presentation and watching the review because that allowed me to exaggerate the times in the presentation that I thought I had struggled with. I think it's good to have the ability to be introspective, but being aware of your tendency to be a little harsher on yourself is helpful.

The Video Was Actually a Great Idea: Of all the presentations I've given, I have yet to be able to re-watch it and get constructive feedback. All the feedback I received was very helpful, and I absolutely think that if I were to present again, it would be immensely better. Simple things like order of slides can really make a difference.

I Like Journal Clubs: I go to the journal clubs that my lab puts on pretty commonly and I'm always excited to hear about some new research in the field. I'm bound to have to present at one of them eventually, and I think this experience will help me be able to pull it off!

Overall, round of applause for everyone; I think everyone did really well and had a lot of positives to take away from the experience.

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