Madeleine Long

Madeleine was the winner of the 2016 final.

Contestant details

Name: Madeleine Long

Position: 2016 Winner

Thesis title: Not published yet

Presentation title: Language and the Brain: The Skye’s the Limit

Listen to Maddie's Tales from the 3MT competition (SoundCloud)

Do you have any top tips for preparing for the competition?

There’s no right or wrong way of presenting- be yourself and let your personality/enthusiasm for the topic help guide the way you prepare your talk. Once you’re happy with it, try practicing it in front of friends, family, colleagues, and in as many different places as you can. This helps to ensure it’s relevant and engaging to a broad audience, and that you’re comfortable delivering your talk in any environment.

How has 3MT benefited you?

Having to hone in on the important details of my PhD and improve my public speaking skills has been hugely beneficial in preparing me for future science communication and public engagement opportunities. The 3MT has been such a fun experience that it’s made me genuinely excited to share my research and receive feedback.

What was the most challenging thing about 3MT?

Standing in front of a crowd, hoping you remember all of your lines within the time limit! The truth is, the audience probably won’t noticed if you make a small mistake, and they want you to do well- so if you’ve practiced, there’s no need to stress about this. Try to have a good time!

Why would you recommend 3MT to other doctoral students?

As scary as it was initially, it turned out to be one of the most unique and enjoyable things I’ve done for my PhD. It’s always good to challenge yourself, and you may find science communication is something you become very passionate about.

How have you used the skills gained in the competition?

Even before the first round of the competition, I was already using bits of my talk to describe my PhD; you can bring it with you anywhere and use in any situation to describe the work you do which, as any PhD student knows, is incredibly useful.

Did it help you with your subsequent study/employment?

In preparing for an upcoming talk, I am using the tools I learned throughout the 3MT to make sure the presentation is concise, relevant, and engages the audience. I’m sure these skills will be useful in any area of study and any type of job!