Thursday, June 27, 2013

3 minutes thesis competition : some tips and tricks

Few days after I came back from shoort trip to Pangkor, I've participated in the 3 minute thesis (3MT) competition organized by my faculty in conjunction with the faculty's research week. honestly, we (me and my friend) were forced by our supervisor. 

There competition was divided to 2 categories that are master category and phd category. For those who did'nt know what 3MT is, its actually a "platform" for researchers to share the importance of their work with public or I should say people who are not specialized in our field. As its name, it need us to summarize our work in the most simple way and present its importance within 3 minutes.

I used to think that this is a very simple task, its like story telling. hehehe.. but hell no when I started with preparation of the text for the speech. There's too many important things to tell people within that very short period. Well, for me its my one year work to summarize in 250 words? And for those who already done with data analysis, it must be more difficult. Oh my goodness. its tough!

So, I browsed through the net looking for tips for this 3MT. Its not that I'm really eager to win his competition but at least I don't want to embarass myself in front of the crowds. ;') So, of course I need to be prepared..Many websites, people suggest dividing the presentation to 3 parts that are why? what? and how? This is what I get from browsing through..

So, when the day came..

After I did my presentation, one chinese girl came to me and asked me how I prepared my text. I laughed. Not because I am over confident with my presentation but because I am not confident at all..(at that time) LOL! I DID'NT FOLLOW A BIT OF THE TEXT I'VE PREPARED!!I'm kind of blurred at that time. So, whatever came out of my mouth that day was unplanned. hehehe.. But then I realized Allah knows whats best for me. If I followed the text that I've prepared, I won't get the 3rd place on the competition..haha..


But after the competition, I guess I need to write here the most important tips for those who are going to participate in 3MT which is to ENGAGE WITH THE CROWDS. I found that all the winners for both category are strong at engaging with their crowds.

Tell people what makes you choose the topic? If possible, relates it to your life experience. So that they can "reach" you. Start the presentation by telling story or situation that is related to your research topic will be a good way.. For example, I started mine by telling them that I chosed mine on child injury because of my toddler who turned 1 at that time love to explore the house and met with lots of nearmisses....Tell them how your research can benefits them. People will be benefited from my study if my method works. They can avoid accidents and injury from happening to their children. Isn't this a benefit? =D

Why the research is important to them.
AVOID presenting too many statistical figures..
NEVER be so methodological. Trying to impress people by your ADVANCED laboratory techniques etc won't make your presentation interesting.
Use pictures of your important point on your slide presentation. The slide is not to make people understand your presentation but to guide your talk. People are not supposed to be attracted to your slide, they are supposed to be attached by your speech.

That's all..The lesson learnt. I am hoping that this entry will be helpful to those who are looking for tips for your 3MT competition. If I managed to get the video of my presentation, I'll put it up here later..

Good luck =)


hayati hashim said...

Tahniah dna.
perasaan nk smbung jugak tu membuak buak.
tapi apa daya...

BLuRpL3 said...

tahniah! bestnya..I pun buat Msc kat upm. pernah dpt offer masuk competition ni tapi tak masuk la pulak.hehe..

Cynthia Mason said...

I wonder how would your compress a 10000 word paper into a 3 minutes presentation, haha! Well, I would certainly wish that you posted a thesis abstract example of your 3 minutes presentation of your work for the competition. Maybe, I can have an idea and maybe challenge my friends with it.