Fish In The Field

It's pronounced "ghoti"

Presentation Motivation

Whenever I have to get a presentation together my head immediately goes to the The Office (US version) when Michael Scott has to give a talk about using power point to all them employees.



Then that 15 seconds of zen just repeats in my head while I work on condensing down months/years of research, data, and analysis into graphs, charts, and hopefully hilarious pictures that will keep people informed for the next 20ish minutes. I try to use as few words as possible – usually just a sentence or two that could be pulled directly from a results section.

I have three presentations of my work in the next couple weeks. First, a fairly informal “here’s everything I’ve been doing while I’m holed up in my office” presentation to the rest of the lab. Second, a presentation of my findings that could be considered a dry-run/holy-criticism-Batman approach to my defense. That one is for my Seminar class, so it’s just in front of my cohort, but it’s good because they can offer a wider range of things to change in the presentation to make it more understandable. The third presentation is later that same weekend for a research symposium at the university. By that point I imagine that I will be so thoroughly done with talking about my work in front of large audiences that it’ll barely register. Plus, nearly all the Masters students are expected to attend that they will obviously be in awe of my incredible PhD-ness (#falseconfidence).

Amongst the many pluses to come out of all this, taking all the data and analysis, making an interesting story out of it, and then condensing it down really does make it all seem to come together in a way that it hadn’t before. Plugging away at numbers and analysis is fine, and I’ve been making good progress. But I’ll often get caught up in making lists of various analyses that I need to do, running those, and amending the list based on the results – sometimes more finely tuned analysis is needed, sometimes less. Making it into a coherent story and drawing the lines between the numbers is a) stressful (crap, I have to use words now!) and b) kind of nice (hey, it actually makes sense).

The discussion from the results also makes it seem like I’m that much closer to being finished. The data is there. The analysis means something. Now fit the story and figures to the size requirements of the journal and voila. The writing, for me, is the easy part (which is now totally going to jinx me for everything I need to write into the future). But it’s just one more step towards the finished product. And at this point, that is the only thing that matters: finishing. the damn. dissertation. and doing anything else with my time after.


2 comments on “Presentation Motivation

  1. Doug Butler
    April 4, 2014

    I found your blog while searching for information on what streams hold wild trout in the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area. Would I be able to talk to you briefly or trade an email or two in order to learn from some of your experiences? I am a catch and release fly fisherman and TU member that has developed an interest in wild trout-brookies in particular- that somewhat off the beaten path. Thanks very much for your time in advance.

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This entry was posted on March 25, 2014 by in Analysis, Dissertation Time, Stats and Graphs, Talks, Writing and tagged .


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