Two words I wish someone had shared with me over my PhD journey.
Presenting helps in so many ways to build someone up – both for the challenges of doing a PhD, succeeding in the viva and being more ready for life afterwards.
Presenting helps because it makes you think of your audience. To communicate you have to think about who they are, what they want and what they need from you.
Presenting helps because it encourages you to be clear. You have to really think about your message, how you express it, how you structure it and so on. This can be a real benefit for writing, for thinking and for asking questions.
Presenting helps because it makes the presenter nervous – of course, that’s not always a comfortable thing! It helps because, if you take some time, you realise that nervousness is related to the importance of what you’re saying. You have something valuable to share.
Presenting helps because it’s an iterative learning process: there’s always something to learn, something you can take away for the next time.
Presenting throughout the PhD can help you a lot. Presenting as part of viva preparation can be really useful to help explore the words you use to explain your research – and to clarify what makes your work valuable.