June 10, 2011

Department seminars: Oh, the joy

I gave my first department-wide presentation on Friday.  Granted, it was a short, 30-minute presentation that mostly focused on me introducing my project and describing the thinking behind it.  Nonetheless, it was still exhilarating and tiring at the same time.  When it was over, I was tired - even more when I returned home tonight.

I suppose I wasn't too worried about the presentation, as it is not very high-pressure.  Not too many people showed up, as it is summer and attendance tends to dwindle after eight months of these presentations.  Still, it was nice to see the 20-30-some people listening to me talk about what I love to do.

For the most part, I was able to answer questions reasonably well, and I also gained some suggestions that I think should make my research stronger.  At least I hope.

One thing that I certainly need to get over is my sensitivity toward criticism.  The data I presented was quite solid: I did not include any controversial data or anything that I wasn't absolutely certain is true.  I've learned from my previous, smaller presentations that I'm just not good with handling criticism.  When someone starts to evaluate my data critically, I usually become very defensive and feel as though I'm being attacked, which certainly isn't true in all cases.  Now more than ever, I need to get over my sensitivity...  It's going to get me no where in science.

But now my department-wide presentation is done for a year.  Next up: committee meetings. Joy.

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