Training Session Presented by Hugh Milligan, NUPSA
What we’ll cover: • What is 3-Minute Thesis? • Rules, judging criteria and eligibility • Preparation advice • Examples of past winners (discussion) • Practice (your turn!)
What is 3-Minute Thesis? • Began at the University of Queensland in 2008; now held in over 350 universities across 59 countries worldwide. • Participants must explain their research in three minutes to a non-specialist audience. • Finals held at faculty, university, national and international levels. • Only PhD students who’ve completed confirmation may compete at national and international levels.
Why should I participate in 3MT? • Dr Megan Rossi, Winner of the 2014 UQ 3-Minute Thesis Competition https://vimeo.com/138709200
Competition Rules • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. (No animations!) • No additional electronic media are permitted. (Sound files, video, etc.) • No additional props are permitted. (Costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment, etc.) • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
Competition Rules • Presentations are to be spoken word. (No poems, raps or songs!) • Presentations are to commence from the stage. • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech. • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
Judging Criteria Comprehension and Content • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance? • Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes? • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
Judging Criteria Comprehension and Content • Were the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience? • Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points? • Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation -or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?
Judging Criteria Engagement and Communication • Did the oration make the audience want to know more? • Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or generalise their research? • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
Judging Criteria Engagement and Communication • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention? • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance? • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?
Eligibility & Prizes • Any Masters or PhD research student can compete at faculty/university levels. • Only confirmed PhD candidates can progress to Asia-Pacific finals. • University prizes for confirmed PhD candidates: • 1st place: $5,000 (for research expenses) • 2nd place: $2,000 (for research expenses) • 3rdplace: $1,000 (for research expenses) • University prizes for Masters and pre-confirmation candidates: • Winner: $2,000 (for research expenses) • Any finalist can win People’s Choice Prize.
Preparation Advice • Write your speech in advance, and commit it to memory if you can. Don’t try and ad-lib it! • When writing a draft, consider: • What am I researching? • Why am I researching it?(Why is it important to me? And to the world?) • How will I do it? • Who will it benefit? • Aim for a length of about 2:45, to give yourself breathing room. • Watch previous winners online (there are hundreds of videos on YouTube).
Preparation Advice • Practice! • In the mirror – check your own facial expressions and body language. • With your supervisor, colleagues, friends, pets – anyone and everyone! (Especially if your speech includes humour.) • When practicing, consider your: • Rate of speech • Body language/stance/movement • Tone and pitch (be authentic) • Check out other online resources for presentation techniques: • TED Talks • Instructional websites
Example Presentations Consider Matt’s: • Tone/diction • Hand gestures • Anecdotes • Non-specialist language • Matthew Thompson (UQ), Winner of the 2011 3-Minute Thesis Final https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvjPzsLIyGw
Example Presentations Consider Chloe’s: • Rate of speech • Use of pauses • Changes in volume (eg. whispering) • Avoidance of technical jargon • Chloe Goldsmith, Winner of the 2016 UON 3-Minute Thesis Final https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkgpyZaCfms
Example Presentations Consider Megan’s: • Use of humour • Different voices & modulations of pitch • Hand gestures/body language • Megan Pozzi, Winner of the 2013 QUT 3-Minute Thesis Final(and People’s Choice Award) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K9iYUBCG_o
Example Presentations Consider Chau’s: • Explanations of scientific terms • Use of metaphor to explain scientific processes • Chau-Minh Phan, Winner of the 2013 University of Waterloo3-Minute Thesis Final https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg2scM317zc
Example Presentations Consider Rosanna’s: • Choice of slide • Analogy • Hand gestures • Use of pauses • Rosanna Stevens, Winner of the 2014 ANU 3-Minute Thesis Final(and People’s Choice Award) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epT-OpWDImE
Your turn! Tell us about your research.
For more information, visit… • The 3-Minute Thesis Competition website (hosted by UQ): • https://threeminutethesis.uq.edu.au/ • The University of Newcastle’s 3MT page: • https://www.newcastle.edu.au/research-and-innovation/graduate-research/current-students/support-and-resources/three-minute-thesis-competition • NUPSA website: • https://nupsa.edu.au/