Maggie Wright, Development Manager at London Borough of Sutton, tells us about her experience of presenting at the National Tree Officers Conference (NTOC) in 2017.
Why did you decide to submit an abstract?
A colleague in a neighbouring borough suggested it – he said it would be a good subject of interest to a wider audience. I submitted my paper believing there would be no way it would be accepted, I presumed that papers for the NTOC are only submitted by arborists with many years of experience!
How did you plan your presentation?
I took advice from people who had presented to large audiences before. The subject of my research was a little dry (trees in planning) so I got some tips on delivery and how to keep the information on the slide to a minimum. I drafted and redrafted the slides months in advance.
What did you learn from the experience?
You shouldn’t script it – bullet point the direction of your presentation. I recommend not having a fall back script because you will rely on it if you panic. If you know your subject well enough you won’t need to script it and the parts of my presentation I am happiest with are the parts that went off-piste.
What positive impact did it have on you?
Confidence; delivering my research in front of hundreds of people gave me a huge confidence boost. The ICF and the LTOA were all exceptionally accommodating and it was a great networking opportunity too. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
You can view all the NTOC’s presentations on the Resource section of the Institute’s website.
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