professors alike) who are just as excited about chemistry as I am.;Presenting a poster is also a great networking experience.;
What advice do you have for
undergraduate students who
are presenting their poster
for the first time?
rogers: Relax. Presenting a poster is not nearly as nerve-wracking as an oral presentation. Most interactions are
with a few people at a time and it’s more conversational
in style than when you are standing before a group
Alvarez: Make sure you know your project well. Being
nervous while speaking happens to everybody, but as
long as you know what you are presenting, you can
communicate it well to someone who may not have all
of the knowledge. There’s nothing to worry about— it’s
the science that’s the most important thing.
gately: Practice and relax. You’ve worked on this project
for a long time and know your stuff. Practice makes
Washington: Making your first poster can be a bit intimidating. Your research advisor will be a crucial resource
if you are preparing a poster for the first time. Be sure
to get an early start so that you can have plenty of time
to revise, reformat, add proper citations, etc., and also
to allow for any unanticipated problems (for example,
in printing the poster). Also, don’t be discouraged if not
many people are stopping by your poster. There will be
hundreds of other undergraduates presenting at the
same session as well, who are all trying to showcase
their own work at the same time you are. Some spectators will come to see certain posters, while others will
walk through the aisles;and take a glance at many. With
that said, don’t be afraid to encourage a passerby to listen to your presentation.
In addition, you won’t be able to convey every aspect
of your project on your poster, so it is best to start
early in order to give yourself time to narrow down the
aspects of your project that will be most relevant to the
audience. It’s important to know that many students
will not know the theory behind your project, so as
trivial as it may seem, explaining the background information is crucial.
How did you benefit
from the experience?
rogers: It taught me how to give a short recap of my
research in less than a minute. For scientists, this skill is
particularly useful when networking with other scientists or in writing abstracts.
Alvarez: I saw several different ways in which scientists
can organize and present their research. And of course,
I benefited from learning how to present my poster and
handle sometimes-difficult questions.
gately: I received feedback about my presenting skills,
learned what many of my peers were doing, and saw
some interesting presentations of work and research
going on in other fields of chemistry.;
Were you nervous? If so,
how did you deal with it?
rogers: I wasn’t nervous. I had done this before, and as
I said earlier, this is much more relaxed than giving an
oral presentation. It really isn’t anything to be nervous
about as long as you can explain what you did in your
Alverez: I think just about everybody gets nervous when
they have to speak in front of others. Even now, I still
shake a little bit and my voice falters speaking in public,
even though I know in my head that there is nothing
to worry about. Definitely preparing and knowing how
you are going to present helps a lot. When you really
know the material, sometimes the words just come out
naturally and automatically; you don’t have to worry