October 23, 2017, by Lisa Chin

How to enjoy the limelight for 3 minutes

This post is written by Sia Ming Yean, UNMC 2017 3MT® Runner Up. 

Taking part in the 3MT this year was actually my second attempt in the competition. I had initially given it a pass but was later convinced by a very persuasive friend to try again.

Through 3MT, I learned how to structure my talk for people who are not from my field. My research is word learning in children and I face the dilemma possibility of trivialising my topic when talking to an interdisciplinary audience. When I explain my studies in a simple manner so that the audience follows my line of arguments, people tend to scoff my results as “something that everyone knows”. On the other hand, if I present all the jargon and analyses that I have done, the audience would be lost from the start of my talk. Luckily, the Graduate School proves to be a very strong supporting team and we had two training sessions per week to help us with our scripts.

The most important lesson that I have learned is how to enjoy myself on the stage. Thanks to everyone who attended the training sessions being friendly and supportive of each other, I was able to present my speech in a relaxed and stress-free manner. I met new friends and we still smile and greet each other after the competition. We learned from each other’s mistakes and listened to each other’s speeches to no end. Rather than behaving like rivals, we were working like a team, helping each other so that the best person can represent UNMC in the tri-campus round.

Seeing how much I have gained from this competition, I definitely encourage fellow students to take part in 3MT in the future. I have learned to enjoy myself during the few minutes I was in the limelight. To future contestants, I would like to tell them what I kept on saying to myself: have fun!

Sia (third from right) receiving the award plaque from Professor Graham Kendall (fourth from right), Provost and CEO of The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, who was also the Head Judge of the competition. The rest of the judging panel was also present on stage to witness the prize-giving ceremony.

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