Hello! My name is Dan Li, or you can call me Belinda. I’m currently a 3rd year PhD in education and my research interests are L2 motivation (second language learning motivation), career choices and gender.

Public speaking in academic presentation is an important skill for all PGRs. We all have amazing research ideas and are dedicated to devoting years of energy and effort into our PhDs. Public speaking skills in academic presentation are the tool for us to present and deliver our ideas efficiently. As part of my PTA job as HASS Peer2Peer Research Culture Assistant, Pankhuri Singh (PhD in English), Trihn Dinh (PhD in Education) and I worked together and organized a series of hybrid events on public speaking skills, academic presentation skills, work in progress—writing and presenting.

Previous resources (slides) on public speaking skills and academic presentation skills can be found in this Padlet. A podcast about this has also been made and both resources can be found in the “Resources” section of the Padlet. This Padlet, designed by Trihn Dinh, is a platform for all HASS PGRs to connect, share knowledge, call for research support or collaboration, and update with research culture activities in HASS.

Some constructive feedback and helpful tips we received from our participants include:

“I would try to think about any need to adopt inclusive language, and slides, if used. Also, to be aware that we need to be culturally sensitive, so it’s important to know your audience beforehand, whenever possible.”

“The session was well-prepared and super helpful! Also, we got to learn and practice in a welcoming, friendly and supportive environment. Greatly appreciated, thank you!” (Maria Teresa Marangoni, mm967@exeter.ac.uk, PhD in History)

“It’s helpful for improving speaking skills and it provided a good opportunity to discuss research topic with other PGR students” (Lin Sen, sl994@exeter.ac.uk, PhD in Politics)

“Knowing the different tips for presenting in-person vs online (eg. online presenter finds it harder to keep track of time.”

“Very, very informative! So much useful information on structuring your speech and prioritizing content when running out of time. Also love the format of the workshop – presentation and then interactive activity to practice being a speaker, timer + getting feedback.” (Isahbella Rai, idsr202@exeter.ac.uk, PhD in Law).

“Pretend to be confident, and you will at least look confident.”

“I hope I can be on campus because I believe that face-to-face practice would be more efficient.” (Yingnan Chu, yc509@exeter.ac.uk, PhD in Drama)

In conclusion, hopefully this reflection and sharing blog on public speaking skills in academic presentation could help bridge the gap between us having fabulous research ideas and being able to present it effectively. Please feel free to contact me (dl483@exeter.ac.uk) if you have any questions or simply want to talk about it.