Department of Medicine PhD student Marianna Kapsetaki shares her experience of participating in the Graduate School’s 4Cs SciComm Competition. The event saw 21 postgraduate students from across the College challenged to present their research in three minutes in accordance with the 4Cs: Creativity, Content, Clarity & Charisma.
I’m very honoured to have been shortlisted to present my PhD research at this new science communication competition, which was open to postgraduate students across all departments within Imperial College.
I presented my latest research project in which I examined spatial memory in stroke patients. I was very pleased with how the presentation went (better than expected) and I also received many interesting questions from the judges.
By trying to make it understandable to a lay audience, I realised the main message and impact of my research. I learned that I needed to get rid of the jargon and think of the best way to deliver the central idea of my research to the public. I think the skills that I learnt by participating in this competition will be very useful for any future presentation that I give to a lay audience. I believe this will greatly help me in any future outreach projects.
To prepare my three-minute presentation, I watched numerous talks online and read a few tutorials. By practising my script many times (and timing it!) I was able to overcome my nerves when delivering the presentation. Although I have some experience of presenting in front of large crowds, this has been mostly as a pianist performing at classical music concerts rather than speaking directly to an audience. In preparing for the presentation, I was very thankful for the advice I received from my supervisor and family.
It was interesting to learn all about the different research areas of postgraduates from other disciplines and watch the creative ideas that my fellow students had when presenting their research. I hadn’t realised how many amazing projects are going on at Imperial. Everyone presented their research really well.
I’m very grateful for the opportunity provided to me by the Graduate School and would highly recommend it to other students, whether it’s to present or to just come to watch.