A 90,000 words thesis would require about 9 hours presenting it comprehensively. Now, think of presenting it in three minutes. You got that right, 3 minutes (180 seconds). And, only in one slide. That is the ultimate challenge referred to as the three minute thesis. In this post, we will dig deeper into the 3 minute thesis to establish what it is, benefits, and how to win the competition.
A Brief Look At The Three Minute Thesis
Before we can delve deeper into the three minute competition, it is important to answer one primary question: “Where did the three minute thesis competition originate?”
The three minute thesis is a competition that is held every year in more than 200 universities across the globe. The challenge is open only to PhD students and requires them to present their thesis in only 3 minutes. The presentation is required to be engaging and cohesive such that you can be understood well by the audience without a background in the respective study area.
The competition started in 2008 at the University of Queensland and has now become a norm in most universities across the globe.
Benefits Of Participating In The 3mt Thesis Competition
The 3mt competition is the ultimate challenge that no PhD student wants to miss. Even previous participants keep coming back to enjoy the following benefits.
When you participate in the three minute thesis challenge, it is a great opportunity to develop different skill sets. First, you are able to hone presentation and public speaking skills. These are crucial skills that you will need when making the final thesis presentation and later in your career. In many cases, public speaking is a nerve-racking experience that can slow down your career. Competitors in the 3 minute thesis can overcome anxiety associated with public speaking and perfect the critical skill.
Another skill you will hone during the challenge is research communication. As a graduate student, you should be able to present the breadth and significance of your study to a non-specialist audience. This is perhaps the most difficult part of your thesis defense before completing graduate studies. The three minute thesis competition will help you to master this crucial skill. Note that research communication skill will also be very important later when presenting workplace reports and study findings.
A Perfect Networking Opportunity
As a PhD student, having the right network of scholars, professionals and partners is what you need in your career profile. The 3mt competition will offer you a rare opportunity to network with professionals such as other graduate students, industry partners, and top researchers.
3 Minute Thesis as a Lever to Your Career
When you compete in the 3 minute thesis, you build skills that most employers look for when recruiting staff. Your honed writing, public speaking, and presentation skills will make you fit almost in any industry. To lever your career with the impressive performance during the challenge, make sure to highlight it in your LinkedIn profile and summary of your qualifications.
In addition to the above benefits, you will also walk away with cash prizes if you emerge first, second, or third in the three minute thesis competition.
How To Win The 3 Minute Thesis Challenge
Since the start of the 3mt competition, it has become highly competitive. When you register for the challenge, you can only emerge the best by preparing appropriately. Here are some great 3 minute presentations ideas you can use.
Tailor Your Presentation to the Audience
No matter how much you know about making scientific presentations, you need to ensure the 3 minute thesis targets the audience that will be present. The audience wants to get the big picture of the study. Therefore, avoid acknowledging the members of your lab, funding bodies, and showing data. Simply explain what you are doing in the study.
Use Other 3mt Slide Examples to Learn How Presentations are Done
To show your best in the 3 minute thesis challenge, it is important to look at how previous presenters did it. Using their slide examples, try to improve on what they did. Most 3mt slide examples show highly summarized work that captures the study significance and findings. Remember, that this should be written in a simplified way so that the audience without a background in your study area can understand.
Practice the Presentation
To win the 3 minute thesis, you need to practice as much as possible. Start by preparing the 3 minute presentation topics and summarize them in only one PowerPoint slide. Then, time yourself and make the presentation in front of your friends. If it is possible, consider using a room similar to the one to be used for the three minute thesis competition.
One secret you need to know about timed presentations is that you must avoid going beyond the limit. The best thing is planning to complete your three minute PowerPoint presentation a few seconds before your time is up.
Speak in an Engaging Way
One important thing used by judges to assess presenters during the 3 minute challenge is the connection to the topic. You need to demonstrate a deep passion for the study area to win the audience. Well, if you are not positive about it, why would everyone even bother to listen? Put it this way: approach this three minute thesis challenge like the main thesis defense. The only difference is that you have 3 minutes to get everything done in the case of 3mt competition.
Your Opportunity To Win 3mt Competition – Take It!
The three minute thesis challenge has become one of the most awaited PhD events in universities because of the diverse benefits that competitors get. This post has demonstrated that though presenting the entire thesis in only 3 minutes is not an easy task; it is possible with the right practice and mental fortitude.
To win the three minute thesis, you only need to give the bigger picture, be enthusiastic, and focus on the audience. You can do it!