RCOT 2018 Blog 7 4 valuable lessons from a nervous 1st time presenter

Here are 4 lessons that Orla Hughes, an occupational therapy student, learnt from presenting for the first time at a RCOT conference:

  1. Encourage everyone to ‘give it a go’

The different ways we can present at conference gives us a chance to get creative and ‘give it a go.’

If you have a passion for an activity, why not apply to host an occupation station? If you have interesting research but don’t enjoy public speaking, could you submit a poster instead? Personally, I haven’t conducted any traditional research yet so I shared a personal reflection of my experience volunteering while being an occupational therapy student for the first time. I’d encourage you to think, ‘what could I do?’

  1. Wear suncream

Be prepared to take it easy and look after yourself before you are presenting. Self-care and occupational balance need to be considered even more so when you are putting yourself out there at a conference. For me that meant I should have worn suncream the weekend before as I could have avoided presenting while looking like a lobster.

  1. Remember Murphy’s Law

We are in Northern Ireland and therefore, Murphy’s law applies: ‘If technical difficulties can happen, they probably will’ which is what arose in my presentation. Having interesting videos and slideshows are a welcome bonus to your presentation but have a back-up plan if it isn’t possible to show them on the day.

  1. Get interactive

Finally, my favourite presentations are the ones that have some banter with the audience whether it’s asking the crowd discussion questions, conducting a ‘hands-up’ poll, or singing a song together.

The opportunity to interact can turn the session into something people can engage more with and hopefully make the learning outcomes more tangible.  In my presentation, I did this through running a twitter competition. I announced I would be picking my favourite tweet from the session and award the winner with their favourite chocolate bar.

Stay tuned for the award ceremony coming soon on twitter (@orlatheot).

 

 

 

 

 

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