for the second day of the three-day conference.
Note to students: accommodation can accumulate to quite an amount, so if you can get funding from your institution, then apply once you have secured the offer to present!
It was very interesting listening to other undergraduates talk about their projects and dissertations. I soon realised that it is ok to not have completed your project by the time you present. Provided you have some interesting initial results, a conference is one of the best places to get feedback from fellow researchers. Also, I was able to note some tips down about presenting technique, using the opportunity of watching others' presentations to improve my own.
Come my turn to present, I was ready and delivered it without a hitch. The rehearsals at home to friends paid off, practicing talking about my project in different ways. When it came to delivering it under pressure I was able to deliver it smoothly. I surprised myself by being excited to receive questions and comments about my project. These were phrased more as discussion points from members of the audience, which allowed me to elaborate on some of the points I only briefly in my presentation due to time constraints. Getting everything you want to say about a project into 15 minute can be very challenging, so I had to be selective and keep it relevant! The discussion afterwards enabled me to give more details.
It was at the end of my presentation that I was approached by Dr Andrew Merrison. He invited me to submit an abstract about my project to the 10th International Symposium of Politeness (SymPol10) conference at York St John University in July. After ULAB, I submitted an abstract and got accepted to present at my first professional academic conference! It goes to show that getting out there and giving it a go can be instrumental in shaping your future.
Overall, I really enjoyed the ULAB experience and it gave me a taste of how to present to an previously unknown crowd. Going home that day with an invitation to present at another conference was more than I could have ever asked for. If you are a Bachelor's student who has achieved high marks in a project and wants to experience the spotlight of presenting at a conference, I would recommend starting out by applying to a workshop or relatively local conference for early career researchers (ECRs). The Undergraduate Linguistics Association of Britain (ULAB) is perfect for this because it gives you the experience and exposure to presenting to an audience under pressure, to people who are not your classmates, while still being a supportive environment. Plus, you are never know where it may lead you. The prevailing adventure that comes with travelling to a new place in the country, to a new environment, with new people, is invaluable! You never know what is around the corner. So give it your best shot. I know I did.
Copyright © Samantha Ford 2017-2018