This book is aiming to respond to the following needs: - Many other presentation books on the market are aimed at people in business - this book is aimed specifically at postgraduate research students. - Undergraduate books in the area (such as the author's Palgrave book), do not cover the specifics of presenting at a postgraduate conference - this book does (including writing your abstract, submitting your paper, preparing your presentation and visual aids, speaking to your audience, handling questions). We have an older book which was aimed at this market from Kerry Shepard (2005) that sold nearly 1600 copies, so we could think of this as a replacement for that. - It will be the most up to date book that specifically deals with poster presentations, a very common form of presentation at academic conferences.

Using your Nerves

I have a vision of you, as you read the title of this chapter, snorting loudly in disbelieve that you could ever ‘use your nerves’. I also imagine that, as you consider nerves in relation to a presentation, you might start to feel a slight tension in your stomach (which is good) and a rather unpleasant sense of doom (which is less good). I want you to feel nervous before a presentation – this is always a good thing. It means that you are alert to everything around you, that you are taking the occasion seriously and that you will perform at your best, but only if you learn to use your nerves rather than being ruled by them.

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