Michaela Raab

Michaela was the winner of the 2022 competition

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


My top tip for preparing for the 3MT competition would be to practise the presentation as often as possible in front of a small audience such as family, friends, and colleagues. Not only will this help you to feel comfortable presenting your 3MT to an audience, but it will also help make sure that your presentation is clear and easy to follow for people who are not necessarily familiar with your research topic. I also found the 3MT training courses that are offered as part of the IAD programme very useful. They have a lot of great advice and tips on how to deliver your presentation and design your slide.


But most importantly, just try to have fun with the 3MT as there are no limits to your creativity!


How has 3 Minute Thesis benefited you?


I really enjoyed taking part in the 3MT and it was a wonderful experience, especially because I started to see my project as part of a bigger picture again, and the possible benefits my research may one day lead to.

Additionally, my presentation and communication skills have improved a lot and I feel much more confident speaking in front of a larger audience.


What was the most challenging thing about 3MT?


The most challenging thing for me about the 3MT was the strict time limit. When I practised my talk, I was sometimes way over or under the time limit and it took a lot of practice to get the timing right each time. Standing and speaking in front of an audience can already make you feel a bit nervous, so you don’t want to worry about the time on top of that and start rushing towards the end. Generally, I would recommend speaking very slowly and clearly instead of trying to get as much information across as possible. This will give the audience a better opportunity to follow and understand what you’re saying, helping your talk leave a lasting impression. 


How have you used the skills gained in the competition?


Whenever I prepare for a talk now, I always remember what I have learned during the 3MT competition in terms of presenting, timing, and keeping the audience engaged. These are all very useful skills which I am sure will accompany me for the rest of my scientific career.


Why would you recommend 3MT to other doctoral students?


The whole 3MT competition journey was an amazing experience, and I would recommend everyone to give it a go. It’s a great opportunity to communicate your research to a wider audience, get them excited about your project and show them why your research really matters. It’s also a great personal challenge if you want to improve your science communication skills and gain more confidence when talking to a bigger crowd.