Two days ago, I presented original research at the UTK Communication and Information Research Symposium. I also presented at the same symposium last year and after it was over I kept thinking about what difference a year makes.
Last year, in order to prepare for the presentation, I donned a suit from my broadcaster days, dug out a pair of heels and spent an hour on my hair and makeup. I practiced the presentation by making notes and going over the slides of my Power Point religiously. I was horribly nervous and afterwards the woman I was researching for at the time told me that I needed to loosen up! Since then, I've presented three times (once internationally) and I know how the process is supposed to go.
This year I was nervous while presenting but not intimidated. Two people asked great questions after it was over. I was able to think to myself slow down while I was speaking and brainstorm ways to present the research in a clearer way. I feel like I'm learning and progressing quite a bit as a PhD student. Thank goodness.