3MT is all about effectively communicating the originality and importance of your research in three minutes to an intelligent but non-expert lay audience. You should therefore avoid dense information or specialised jargon, but instead distil your ideas in order to guide the audience through your work and leave a lasting impression.
After you submit your application, you will receive expert training in May to help you polish your presentation for the heat event and the 3MT final.
Meanwhile, here are some top tips:
- Be enthusiastic and show your passion for your subject
- Help the audience relate to your research by emphasising its relevance and any real-world applications or examples
- Speak clearly and don’t rush... if you tend to speed up when nervous, check yourself on this
- Time yourself and practice keeping within the three minute limit
- A comfortable speed of delivery for oral presentation is approximately 80 words per minute. You should therefore be aiming for approximately 200 -250 written words for your three-minute summary
- To structure your presentation, think about why you are researching your chosen topic or issue, how you are going about your research and how your work can be applied to the real world
- Watch yourself in the mirror or record yourself using a camera phone so you can check your presentational style
- Address your audience directly: don’t look down!
- Try to be natural and appear relaxed... Don’t move around too much (actions such as swaying can be distracting) but don’t appear static or rigid
- Practice in front of friends who do not study in your area to ensure that your presentation is appropriate for a non-expert audience; if there are things they don’t understand, think about how you could express them more simply or clearly
- Learn from previous winners by typing ‘three minute thesis winners’ into YouTube and watching the filmed presentations of past entrants
Presentations will be judged according to the following criteria:
Comprehension & Content
- Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background to the research question being addressed and its significance?
- Did the presentation clearly describe the key results of the research including conclusions and outcomes?
- Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
- Was the thesis topic, key results and research significance and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
- Did the speaker avoid scientific jargon, explain terminology and provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
- Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?
Engagement & Communication
- Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
- Was the presenter careful not to trivialise or generalise their research?
- Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
- Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
- Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
- Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?
Inger Mewburn (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, RMIT) has developed a presentation about the 3MT.