This week, an unofficial, but to me not insignificant, milestone in my PhD studies took place. A poster abstract I submitted to the European Mathematical Genetics Meeting (EMGM) had been accepted, and the meeting took place in Oxford this week. The abstract’s acceptance last month had prompted
a mad rush renewed determination to finalise my results for presentation.
Strictly speaking, this was not (quite) the first poster to present my work, but it was the first to present work that was mostly mine. The conference really was excellent (despite not featuring any poker) but I will confess to feeling super-nervous before the poster session. My supervisor was not able to stay for the poster session, which took place in the evening, but before departing, advised me to stay calm and not to become flustered by questions that people asked.
In the event, the session passed smoothly. I spotted a couple of familiar faces, to whom I had spoken at previous conferences when I was at the very early stage of the work I was presenting, and who listened as I explained my results.
Other poster-presenters were in possession of a (seemingly) well-rehearsed patter, talking those viewing their poster through their methods and results, and describing their next steps. I had no such handy speech at the ready, and whilst I was able to explain what I did, I floundered a little when it came to knowing how to start, particularly when I was talking to someone who was not familiar with the methods which
I knew a lot less about just a few months ago form the basis of my work.
So, do you have any advice that might enable me to present at a future poster session with a little more conviction? Practise, practise, practise, perhaps.
There is a postscript below the fold
After the conference, I had some time to spare in Oxford. I spotted the below in an Oxfam bookshop – had it been a first edition, I would not have been able to resist buying it. Between us on NN did we conclude that we have the whole set?
Left, second edition; Right, fourth edition
And, Henry, have you been to this restaurant on Banbury Road?