These last couple of weeks I’ve been really worrying about having to give my dissertation presentation. It’s 10% of your dissertation grade, and you present to the students of your dissertation tutor, and you’re paired with another supervisor and their students as well. Although I know that the tutors want you to do well, the other students want you to do well, and it’s really not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things because it’s just 10% of one module… I was still terrified. Presenting just isn’t my thing! That being said, when I was studying abroad in Germany last year I had to give 10 presentations, which really helped me out because by the end I was a lot more comfortable with them. Now I feel like even though I get all the nerves I ever had beforehand, the presentation I give isn’t made worse because of my nerves.
So what happens? We were in a large seminar room, and in the end I think there were 11 students and the two tutors. The tutors sat at the back and in alphabetical order called up each student to deliver their presentation. The presentations were each 3 minutes long and aided with the use of a PowerPoint. Honestly I think one of the things I was most nervous about was finding the place to put the USB stick in and then waiting for my slides to come up! It was really interesting to see everyone’s topics, and the way people had gone about presenting them. Some people had chosen to explain why they had picked their topic, others had gone over the critics or theorists they were using, whilst others opted to do some close reading or follow one section of their argument. Once I was able to stop worrying about my presentation, it was really nice to get to see what other people were doing.
There were no questions asked after the presentation, and the tutors just graded you at the back, so it was really made as easy and non-threatening as possible. I presented on Thursday and I think I get my grade back by the end of Monday, so that’s a pretty fast turnaround! At the start of the presentations one of the tutors had said that this was actually one of the nicest bits of the module, because hearing what everyone was doing was so interesting. I was highly sceptical of the “nice”ness of this whole thing, but in the end she was right. Although nerves are natural, they weren’t necessary, if you understand me. I was still nervous because I was always going to be, but at the same time I knew it was going to be fine, and it was.
So now I have two weeks of term left before Christmas. I have a practice essay for the Romantics module due in on Monday, a presentation on American Psycho to give on Tuesday, and 2000 words of my dissertation due in on Friday. So this week is going to be busy! But each week is also getting closer to Christmas, and I’m really excited this year. So that’s my update for you!