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Conference Panic!!!!!

Hi all,

I just wanted to give you all an update on my conference paper. I present the paper yesterday and after a last minute panic i think it went well. I was worried about the content and structure, but i realised after your posts and speaking to different PhD students that everyone was different. So i specifically designed my paper to my own project and personality. i think it worked well. A senior lecturer at the university that i presented at even said that it was "Refreshing". That has given me a great confidence boost, which if you have read my past posts, i needed.

I realise now why PhD students are encouraged to attend conferences as it doesn't only give you a chance to network but it can give the student and their project a boost.

I was freaking out before hand but it was worth doing.

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone in the forum that helped with my PANIC, but i got through it in end.


Conference Panic!!!!!

Thanks doodles,

They have asked for max 20mins and then 10min of questions. I sort of pushed myself into applying, i was so worried that because of all the personal things going on I would fall behind. Being accepted to the conference did give me a confidence boost.

The abstract that i sent in was specific to one aspect of my research rather than an overview of the whole thesis. Although i have a lot of things to say it is the structure and arrangements of points that i'm struggled. Thanks for your guidelines, it will certainly give me a structure to work with.   

I think i will go with your suggestion about fading bullet points. I have worked a little more on a structured speech and i think it will work well, combining the two ideas together will help me keep calm and also make it interesting.

Thanks for all the advice.



Conference Panic!!!!!

Hey all,

I have been accepted to do a conference presentation in two weeks. Which is amazing!

I am a first year Phd student. I have had a pretty rough time of it since i started in September. I have had a bereavement plus two family accidents. I found it tough juggling the work and personal life but I pushed myself into my work and feel I've accomplished a lot.

So I sat down over a week ago to write the presentation and have completely lost my confidence. The conference is not specific to my area but is general to my field. I have looked at the other abstracts in my panel and they are relevant. Even better my abstract fits nicely between them.

My problem is I did the power point, then scraped it. Then started a written speech and although i felt this worked better, i still don't think it is good enough. Even worse i have now lost the idea i want to discuss. I was using my literature review and then adding my ideas.

My supervisor says to keep it exciting, don't over quote and don't use to much jargon but no matter what way I do it my ideas come across weak and boring.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

This is my first conference and although I feel ok about speaking in public it is more the content that scares me.

I'm starting to freak out.

Thanks in advance.


Conference Paper

I have been accepted to present a paper at a conference at a postgrad symposium next month. Yipee.

This is my first conference and getting a bit nervous about the whole experience. I do have experience speaking to large crowds but not about my research.

So wanted to ask a few questions and opinions on these types of events.

The paper has to be a max of 20mins long, and i have always worked on approximation of 1 slide per minute. The conference is a general media conference but not specific to my field so i want to introduce my topic (as it is new research) before i go into my ideas. Is this a good idea. How much detail should i go into on the theory within the presentation? As this in my first conference and first year as a research student how do i handle questions that i don't understand or don't have the answers to.

Any information will be great as a complete novice at this.


Tigger 8-)

Writers Block

O.k so sat down this morning and did what Dr Jeckyll suggested. ( Thank You)  Within 30minutes i had finished rambling about personal problems and then without even knowing it i started getting some ideas for my work.

So 1000 words later and three journals read and quoted. I feel like i have officially started.

Decided to take little steps at a time. Have constructed some sort of essay plan that is so detailed that all i have to do now is write. By combining the advice from the forum and this i have managed to achieve something that i feel happy about. Now i don't want to leave my desk but my stomach is telling me it's time for lunch. LOL.

Thanks. :-)

Writers Block

Hey All,

So i thought i was doing really well. I narrowed done my research and separated it into themes and chapters. Reading loads of books and journals and getting some good quotes. I have started a referencing system so i can keep track of what i have been reading etc. So i sat down in front of my computer and freshly cleaned desk to start my Lit review. And waited for the information to flow.

But it never came..... for some reason i just couldn't start. No matter what i wrote it didn't read right or didn't seem relevant. I am starting to lose my motivation.

Has anyone any tips on how to do or start a literature review.

100 day viva

Hey, TwankyPHD

How's the presentation preparation going. I have done the report and the power-point but it seems long.

How many slides is yours?

I am getting anxious about it now. I think it's more the questions rather than standing up in front people. lol

Meeting with my supervisor tomorrow and going to do a run through of everything.


I'm back... and struggling with my introduction chapter and a loss of confidence.


I am really sorry about all the problems you have had.

I have has some experience of similar problems to do with writing and confidence.
I will tell you my story in the hope it might help with what your own problems.

I have always had my own unique style of writing ( some see it as informal) and have always had difficultly with feedback from academics . I Was told at the age of 14 that i wouldn't get anywhere in my life because i couldn't write. This flattened my confidence but i then became defiant that i wanted to prove everyone wrong.

I was dignosied with a unusual type of dyslexia ( i was a phonetic speller and didn't understand structure-to put in simply) when i was 16, mid way through my GCSE's. The school i was at were not equipped to deal with my difficulties, so i learnt to deal with it myself. Grabbed the bull by the horns, so to speak.

I passed my exams including English Language and Literature. Something no one expected me to do.  So when i started my undergrad, i went about my studies the same way as i had done before. However what i found was while most lecturers were open to different styles of writing and supported me with the way i wrote essays etc as longs as the spellings were correct, content was good etc.

Not all were happy to help.

In my third year i did a 3000 word essay for a lecturer that was "Old School" -Basically he failed me and while telling me the results ripped me to shreds.  I was completely shocked, disgusted and emotional.

I knew that essay writing was never my strong point but he was so blunt about it. i started to feel completely lost.

So what did i do to make it better- ignored him. I did what i needed to pass his class. Used the facilities in uni to attend writing classes and then started writing. I picked a subject i loved then started writing, i did the same research and structured it the same. When i re-read, i saw some flaws which i worked on, past it on to my friend she saw some flaws,  i worked on them.

What i realised is there are going be people in the world that i am going to meet that will think that the way i write is wrong. That's fine. As far as i am concerned everyone has there own styles and there is no specific way of doing anything.

So i got a 2:1 in my undergrad, a Pass in my masters and i am now doing a PhD. I think i have proved to anyone and myself that i can write.

My advice too you is keep going, you deserve to be where you are and doing what you do. Take on constructive criticism and ignore people who don't have the understanding to help you. Enjoy what you write and the way you write, in years to come you will want to look back and say " This is mine, i wrote that." If you think that what you have written is OK and with a little re-drafting can be good. Be proud of it. If your not happy about that's fine change it. Its your writing.

And do take breaks, don't let your work consume you.

I am really sorry that this is so long. After starting, i couldn't stop. ( one of my weaknesses)  LOL

I hope some of this helps.

Practice based Phd

Just out of Curiosity.
Is anyone doing a practice based PHD in Arts.

How are you getting on with your approach and what way is your PHD layed out?

In my university it states i have a 60/40 % division. So 60% is theory 40% practice.
I am one of the first people to bring this type of research into my Faculty.
I am planning on starting my practice in my 2nd year.

Is anyone else in a similar situation?

100 day viva

hey TwankyPHD,

Yeah i am in Arts as well. Media. I think i know who you are. Is your supervisor Greg, mine is Anne. 

I have done the report and started the presentation. I am approaching it as an outline of my research, and justification of why i am doing it. Etc.

It is the speech that goes along with the power-point that i am struggling with. I don't know how much detail to put in it. 15mins seems like a long time.

I try not to go into Uni, as i can never work there. Tried in my Undergad to work in the Library but need music, food and some background noise. lol Go in for classes and to see supervisors but apart from that do most of the stuff at home.

How you getting on with your Viva prep?

First Year, first sememster


i know exactly how you feel. I am sort of in the middle, mine is Arts based but has a practice element. I have written what seems like thousands of notes on articles, how they relate to my research, have piles of books on my desk with pages marked etc.

But i feel i need to start writing !!!

I think i have worked loads and i do feel that i have came along loads and so much more defined than when i started.

So suppose, I am scared of wasting time. My supervisor seems happy enough.

I am going to use Christmas as boast for my research and for my confidence. Start in Jan with more motivation.



100 day viva

yeah me at university at ulster too!

yeah had a think about it all. Went to see my supervisor today.  Going to do the report this week. Have a break for Christmas, then tackle the presentation after.

i think i will struggle with the presentation, as i am unsure how to tackle it (what approach to take) Is it an overview or more specific to the area?


First Year, first sememster

Thanks For the reply,

Yeah, reading more reading. I have started a breakdown of the research which inculdes a timetable. Hoping to get at least 5k done by the end of Jan.  I am being told that normally the student changes everything numerous times before submitting in third year.

I normally work at least 4hrs a day, five days a week. This depends on what classes/meetings i have to attend, which i think that's pretty normal.

First Year, first sememster


I am a first year PHD student and i feel that i haven't really done very much. I have revised my proposal three times and finally settled on a structure for my topic.
Which i am really happy with and feel i have taken a big step in my research.

Is this normal or should i have actually written something more substantial.

I have read loads of resources, taken loads of notes.

Some of the other students have written literature reviews 15000 words.

I know that it depends on the student and the topic but Where is everyone else at?

100 day viva

hey Guys,

I am trying to prepare for one of these as well. I dont really know how to approach the presentation. I think i am going to do it on the revised proposal and maybe a bit more detail on specific theories.

As far as a report, it seems to be more informal in my university.

We have to do a report but its about training and supervisors, that sort of thing.
Although still freaking me out. I think Christmas is out the window.

Anyway Happy Holidays!!!!!