03/09/2018 – Post by Senior Student Projects Officer Jenna Barker

ICUR is an event that provides students with an assortment of challenges and possibilities when presenting their original research. While the prospect of presenting your own research to an interdisciplinary audience can be a bit daunting, the benefits outweighs the challenges. 

To begin, it can be challenging to know how much depth to go into to, while still making sure your audience understands, can engage with, and will enjoy your presentation.

What will make your audience curious?

What is unique about your research it? What got you interested in the first place? Try incorporating some of these elements into your presentation to engage your audience. Think about it from their perspective. What’s really special about your research? Practice explaining it in front of your parents, housemates, partners, friends, peers and your Compass group!

Each time you practice you will know your presentation better, and the feedback they provide will help polish it to a point where it’s enjoyable and understandable for the ICUR audience. The process of constructing a presentation suited for an interdisciplinary audience also involves critical thinking about your own research topic. Consider what are the most important messages to get across and why. 

It’s all about skill building!

Presenting original research is also fantastic for practising critical thinking and developing a persuasive and interesting presentation. Thinking about a research topic in a new way or addressing gaps in the literature show that you are able to think independently which is useful for both work and university. As you work on your presentation you are honing your communication skills, overcoming personal challenges, the fear of public speaking and employing time management skills. 

You will be able to demonstrate to future employers that you have these skills, and having had the experience of presenting at an international conference also shows that your research was of a certain quality to be accepted.

Be on the lookout for possible collaborators.

ICUR also provides you with the possibility of getting new people interested in your research topic, and to make them care! This could be around a particular issue, new approaches to old questions, or simply something you find intriguing. Often students at university can feel siloed into their discipline and rarely have the opportunity to learn about what others are doing in different disciplines. More often than not, people are really enthusiastic to learn about new things, and may even draw links with their own areas of study. Who knows, you could meet future colleagues at ICUR this year!

So remember, go out and make friends! Remember to enjoy yourself and be proud that you are presenting your original research!