The fourth-year Honours Life Sciences student presented his research findings last Friday to more than 20 faculty members and classmates using Zoom video conferencing
“Zaryan crushed it,” said his supervisor Maureen MacDonald, who also serves as Dean for the Faculty of Science. “We have hundreds of students in Science like Zaryan who’ve worked all year on their research projects and have had to quickly adopt a completely different format for delivering their findings.”
Zaryan worked with Maureen’s Vascular Dynamics Lab during the year and examined the role of hormonal contraceptives in dictating what fuels were metabolized in order to provide energy at rest, and during submaximal aerobic exercise.
Approximately 500 undergraduate students in the Faculty of Science complete research projects annually. End-of-year thesis symposia moved online due to the pandemic.
Here’s Zaryan’s advice to other Faculty of Science students who are set to present their research projects remotely:
What was the biggest difference between presenting online rather than in-person?
I approached my online presentation the same way I treat in-person presentations. I found no major differences.
Was delivering your presentation harder or easier than you thought?
Although presenting in front of supervisors and other scientists seems like a daunting task, I found that creating the presentation as well as presenting was easier than I thought. For me, I was excited to share my results and was intrigued to hear what others thought of them. I reminded myself that I am contributing to spreading knowledge within science and that was something I had hoped to do since I was younger. Overall, I treated my presentation as more of a guided lecture and discussion and that made me feel more comfortable when presenting.
Was there something you'd have done differently with your presentation?
I was extremely happy and relieved after my presentation. I felt like I was able to accomplish my goal in sharing my results and their significance in advancing science. If I were to do my presentation again, I would speak at a slower pace as well as be clearer when making some key points. I believe being clear and concise is the best way to keep an audience engaged while keeping your presentation memorable.
What's the one thing other students can do to best prepare and ace their presentation?
I believe practice and receiving feedback is a great way to polish your presentation. Even if it is practicing to family and friends who are not familiar with your topic, I believe the practice you put in really pays off. Also, I was fortunate enough to share my presentation early with my supervisor and mentor who provided me with great feedback. Practicing and feedback allowed me to gain confidence in my work.