Several weeks back I went along to a really useful PGR support group for staff at my university. One of the key things that came out of the session for me was the decision to submit my first poster to a conference.
Now, to many people this may not seem like a big deal, but I’ll bet those are the people who have plenty of experience delivery conference papers, am I right? I have delivered 1 conference paper in my career so far, and it was terrifying. Brilliant, but terrifying.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know I will need to do many more conference papers in my future academic career, and I’m sure I will build up the necessary controls and confidence. However, for now I am quite happy to be honest and say I am not there yet. My ideas need much more development and I need more experience of talking people through them before I put myself through that.
Practicing with posters
Which is where the poster presentation comes in. For PGRs/ECRs or people in the early stages of a particular piece of research, it is a great exercise to take part it. It allows you to creatively explore your research questions and gives you the chance to practice talking people through them on a less formal level, not to mention allowing you to receive lots of useful feedback.
I am submitting this next week, so fingers crossed for me! If you have any feedback/suggestions, do let me know.