I had the best audience for today’s practice talk! So grateful to have such amazing parents willing to sit through this multiple times! (and Snoopy…) It’s especially great having a dad who is a radio newscaster and is able to give advice about trying to remain calm when you forget a word and helping force you to keep going when you lose track of where you were trying to go. Once again the consensus is I do much better when I’m less script-y, which I can do once I get past the intro. But that intro is sooooo hard for me because there’s so much to make sure I don’t forget and I know that some people in the audience will have their ears out for. I tried to shorten my sentences and make it seem more natural, but it still sounds too scripted. How do good speakers present the same thing over and over without it sounding that way?

Also, during my formal practice talk with my lab Thursday, I had some really great feedback of things to change and or include. And I 100% intend to but I’m terrified I’m going to forget to and then they’ll think I ignored their suggestion. So that was tripping me up a bit during today’s practice talk when I was over-trying to remember to include things and breaking the flow. 

On the plus side, once I get into my own research stuff (apart from the momentary trip-ups) I flow a lot better. I think in part it’s because I know that work better than anyone. And I’m pretty darn proud of it.

Tomorrow’s plan is to review a bunch of papers and concepts because I have no clue what curve balls I might get tossed Thursday during the committee grilling part. Especially because I’ve never met or been questioned by my external examiner (prof from another institution who joins my committee of profs from my institution). 

Stress is starting to really kick in. But I’m going to try to get some good sleep these next couple days and keep to as normal a schedule as possible (early to bed, early to rise). Thanks to my parents for letting me keep this consistency and working around my wants and needs (don’t worry I don’t make them get up at 4 too!). 

Feeling grateful, and excitedly nervous. I just have to remind myself that no talk will ever be perfect. Nobody can ever answer every question correctly. The best I can do is to prepare as best I can, try to stay in the moment, and well, do my best! The committee shall decide all the rest… And now it’s time to give my brain some rest. 

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