My PhD defence is this week (Wednesday) at 2:30pm ET. I am feeling pretty good about the whole thing but at the same time nervous. I just don’t know exactly what to expect. I have a sort of idea of what the questions might cover and where my assumptions or conclusions might be challenged. However, the uncertainty of all this is what is making me nervous.
I have gotten lots of good advice from people such as “you are the real expert on the material” and “be confident and prepare a great talk”. All of this is great advice, however it doesn’t really help assuage the feeling that this is the most important talk I have ever given and the nerves that accompany that. Furthermore, despite the fact that I am now an expert on 129I I still have to convince four very smart people that I what I did was worthwhile and good science.
As far as my preparations go I have read lots of articles from fellow bloggers about how to prepare and what to think about and talked to postdocs in the lab. These have all been very helpful things to do, but at the end of the day I know that I will be the one standing at the front of the room and facing the steely gaze of the examiners (not really, they are all nice people). I have read over my thesis several times, prepared a list of possible questions, re-read key articles and reviewed the basic principles of the models I used and the statistical tests. I still feel unprepared and I doubt that feeling will go away until I start my talk. Plus, thesis committees are still scary!
Anyway, in the interest of distracting myself yet also being sort of productive I am preparing to live-tweet my defence. I am pre-scheduling about 20-30 tweets for the time during my talk so you can view these key points of my thesis as I talk about them at uOttawa. Follow the feed with #129I. Interact with the tweets, ask questions, etc. I won’t get to them until later in the day…or maybe the next day, but I will eventually.
Wish me luck and remember, follow #129I!!!! Tweets start at 2:30pm ET.
Also, I’m using a new presentation program called SlideDog. I mean why not try something new for the most important talk of my life. Stay tuned for this: