I didn't know what to do my presentation on but one of the things that I had been meaning to write a report on was biofilm growth in distribution systems. I just needed to learn more about this for the progression of my PhD but I thought if I wrote my synopses on it, it would encourage me to start this research. I was incredibly surprised when it was accepted to present at the competition and had to start my research straight away.
On the day of the presentation, I felt OK. The competition was being held where I work so I didn't have to go out of my way or do any travelling. It just felt like a normal day of work. But when 4:45pm came around, I was sat in reception with the other presenters feeling a little nervous. It was great to meet them though and discuss our work and what we would be talking about. There was a buffet dinner and more opportunities to network. I was surprised by the number of people from Anglian Water who I had never met before.
When the presentations began, I grew much more nervous. I was having computer problems because I did my presentation using Prezi, thinking it would look dynamic and different to PowerPoint, and downloaded it to my laptop. But I did not bring a HDMI adapter so my laptop couldn't play it on the projector. I was trying my best to re-download it onto a USB stick, which is quite a normal task but is very difficult when you are nervous! The others had really good presentations, adding to my nerves. But I told myself that at the end of the day, all I was doing was sharing the research I had done. It wasn't about winning or losing. I tried my best and delivered my presentation. Overall, I really enjoyed the event and intend to go again to listen to the presentations in future. It was a great chance to hear what people are working on and give young people an opportunity to give a formal presentation.
On 27/01/17 I was invited to attend the Annual Dinner of the Eastern Branch of the Pipeline Industry Guild, for free. This in itself was worth delivering the presentation. It was a very fancy meal definitely worth attending. Unfortunately, you were not able to bring a guest but this just helped the presenters chat with each other. It was not the kind of event that I would normally attend (or afford to attend!) so I really appreciated the invite. At the end of the meal, it came to announcing the prizes. When they said my name, my first thought was "who, me?". I could feel my face growing bright red as I shuffled across the room. I honestly could not believe that I had been lucky enough to win first prize!
I enjoyed my experiences with the Pipeline Industry Guild so much
that I decided to be a member. I was surprised to find it is free for people under the age of 25. Since the events, I have attended numerous events with PIG and even had the opportunity to give another presentation at one of their events, The Pipeline Showcase on 16/05/17. Overall, an excellent opportunity. So, for anyone who is uncertain about entering, I would definitely recommend you give it a go! What's the worst that can happen? I also have some tips if you do want to enter.
- Test your presentation beforehand and bring spares e.g.. bring it on a spare USB, email it to the organiser, have it on your laptop and bring a HDMI converter
- Bring a slide changer- they have an added touch of professionalism
- Keep in contact with the other presenters
- Attend the annual dinner- it is definitely worth it!
- Join PIG- it might be free for you