This week, I spent five days in Cardiff attending a conference. Cardiff was truly beautiful: clean, fun and a much lovelier city than I expected. Sadly, I didn’t have the opportunity to look around the city apart from the university area, but I would like to go back one day and travel around Wales for sightseeing. The architecture in Cardiff, such as the National Museum and the university, was remarkable and simply beautiful. Around the university, there were many green spaces; I walked down a path through these every day during the conference.
My conference presentation
It was a useful experience to give my first oral presentation at an academic conference. Before the presentation, I was worrying too much: the room allocated for my time slot was much larger than other rooms, and I was anxious whether people sitting in the last row would be able to hear my voice and read my slides. By the time of my presentation, the room wasn’t full, but many people were sitting near the back.
I continued revising my slides until the last minute. My PhD colleagues had told me, ‘You have worked on the topic for two years, so everything will be fine.’ I was lucky, because the people in the room felt very welcoming and my chairperson was supportive. I learnt how important the chair’s role is.
After the presentation, people asked questions and gave direct, constructive feedback. This was the best part of presenting at a conference. Most of the feedback gave me different perspectives and useful suggestions for analysis. The 15 minutes of presentation and 15 minutes of discussion passed so quickly.
Through this experience, I learnt how to present my two years of work in 15 minutes. I spent five minutes explaining my research background, but my impression was that it wasn’t enough and I could have done better. Sharing the context is crucial, more so than I was thinking. Next time, I will make sure I give a clear description of the context to people who may not have a background in my topic.
Overall, I very much enjoyed the experience of presenting at a conference, the other sessions and meeting people.
Since I returned home, Luca and I have been discussing and planning a trip to Wales.
My achievements in week 90
- Enjoyed my first conference presentation and got constructive feedback!
- Attended the full programme of conference sessions.
- Sent my supervisors a report to update where I am with research and my next plans.
- Updated my CV for the first time in two years and applied for a one-month teaching programme.
Goals for week 91
- Work on revising my chapters, which are due in three weeks.