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Presenting your research

Presenting your research

You will need to present your research at various points throughout your candidature, both formally and informally.

The most important formal presentations are for each of the three milestone reviews. You will present your research to a review panel and an audience from the general research community. These are commonly completed in School-based or College-based conferences, or sometimes in a smaller forum.

Each milestone presentation is around 20 minutes, followed by questions from the review panel and the general audience. The review panel provides feedback on your research to date, including advice and suggestions.

  • First milestone review (confirmation of candidature) allows you to present your prospective research project as a significant and original contribution to the field, with reference to relevant literature.
  • Second milestone review (mid-candidature) allows you to demonstrate how your research is shaping up and provides an opportunity for the review panel to assess your progress.
  • Third milestone review (pre-submission) allows you to demonstrate to the review panel that you will have a timely and successful completion.

Other formal presentations are:

  • conference presentations. These are an effective way of disseminating your research and can be a useful source of feedback through audience questions or comments.
  • the Three-Minute Thesis competition. This is an Australasia-wide competition for research students to give a three-minute presentation of their research and its significance using a single PowerPoint slide. See more about this here and in the section on articulating and summarising your research.

Apart from formal presentations, there are numerous other occasions when you need to succinctly and clearly articulate your research, sometimes in only one or two sentences. This is sometimes called ‘the Barbecue statement’. It’s not just your research community who are interested in your research; research students often find being able to communicate their research to people outside their scholarly field difficult. The section on articulating and summarising your research has some hints on how to go about this.

This resource has many tips and techniques around articulating, summarising, and learning the key moves involved in presenting your research. It also has a section on poster presentations, a feature of most conferences:       

Fear and anxiety around presenting can also be a major issue for many people. The video below gives some useful tips to overcome this.

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking: 3 Tips

Steve Cohen, Harvard Extension School, How to overcome the fear of public speaking: 3 tips.

Watch: How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking: 3 Tips

Watch: How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking: 3 Tips
“Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham; www.phdcomics.com
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