Teegan Green,  PhD student with the UQ Business School and the CRE, provides some tips on entering the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Teegan's winning presentation examined trust in the context of virtual service delivery, and her presentation was entitled "Trust me, I’m a (Tele) Doctor, an engaging look at what happens when we offer health care at a virtual distance".  Watch the video of Teegan's presentation.
1. Practice

A key to a well polished presentation is practice. Once you have committed your speech to memory, I think it is helpful to practice your speech. Practice in front of a mirror, and present to others if this helps. You should consider practicing the speech both aloud (spoken), as well as to yourself. If you do watch yourself in front of the mirror, look out for whether you do any distracting behaviours such as swaying, shuffling your feet from side to side or other things that can be distracting for your audience (but which you may not be consciously aware of). Also, consider audio recording yourself and playing your speech back to hear how you sound. It can be a very different experience to hear yourself say your speech rather than when you are performing the speech (as your mind tends to be pre-occupied with the task of presenting well!). Consider logistics of whether you will present with a lapel microphone, and if so, you will need to be careful of your movements so that your speech is audible at all times - if you are able, practice with a lapel microphone in advance. Also, it can be useful to know the venue that you are presenting in - see if you can arrive early and practice in advance at the venue.
2. Audience Engagement
It is important to establish a connection with your audience. This creates something for your audience to latch on to so that you can carry them through the different parts of your speech. Try to incorporate audience participation. There are various ways in which this could be achieved. First, you could consider asking your audience to reflect on a specific scenario or to imagine a certain scenario. Second, you could ask rhetorical questions of the audience to get them thinking about your ideas. Third, you can provide some examples or draw analogies to concepts from everyday life that your audience can relate to in order to explain the complexities and nuances of your thesis. Smiling at your audience before starting your speech can be another way to engage the audience before you begin your presentation.
3. Communication

Non-verbal communication is important during any presentation, including during your 3MT presentation. Use your voice, stance, body language, gestures, facial expressions and other non-verbal cues to engage your audience. This builds on from the previous tip, which is to ensure that your audience is engaged with you throughout your presentation. A key part of communication as well as audience engagement is eye contact. Practice scanning the crowd if making individual eye contact is not something that you are comfortable with. You should also practice projecting your voice to ensure that you are heard by all audience members - particularly if you are presenting in a large room or to a large audience.​
Above all else, enjoy the experience - this is an exciting opportunity for you to communicate the significance of your research to others who are interested in learning about your topic. Leave your audience wanting to know more!

Thanks to Teegan Green for providing the above tips.