Riccardo Arnone, Arboricultural Officer at London Borough of Camden, tells us about his experience of presenting at the inaugural National Tree Officers Conference in 2016.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SUBMIT AN ABSTRACT?
I was working with my colleague on a study of species diversity in Camden’s annual tree planting programme when the call for papers for the National Tree Officers Conference came up. This piece of work followed on from a previous study on the influence of insurance tree root claims against the Council in our approach to programmed maintenance and tree planting. We had previously presented the initial claim study at different conferences and thought that the National Tree Officers Conference would be the best platform to present our new results and introduce our species diversity principles.
HOW DID YOU PLAN YOUR PRESENTATION?
I had previous experience of speaking in front of a large audiences (my degree’s dissertation in Italy and at a London Tree Officers Association seminar) but I’m always very nervous. To prepare, I spoke with colleagues and researched how to give a good presentation. I made sure that the presentation had a good flow and that I was telling a story from the beginning to the end. I highlighted the key points for each slide, pinpointing the most important information I wanted to share with the audience, and made sure that I practised a lot by repeating the presentation to myself and my wife. I was still very nervous but the practise helped me to remain calm and get through it.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE?
I think that only certain people have the ability to present at a conference as if they are talking to their friends, but I am convinced that everyone is able to give a good presentation with enough preparation. If I get to do it again, I will definitely allow plenty of time to practise, and I will also try to put more care in the detail I want to share with the audience.
WHAT POSITIVE IMPACT DID IT HAVE ON YOU?
It was definitely a good experience which gave me the opportunity to challenge myself to present to a large audience in English rather than my native Italian. On a professional level, I was able to present our study to a large audience of Tree Officers across the country and hopefully helped to start a conversation on this topic.
The submission period for abstracts to be presented at the National Tree Officers Conference 2017 is now open and it will close on Friday 12th May 2017 at 17:00hrs. For further information: https://www.charteredforesters.org/2017/03/national-tree-officers-conference-2017-call-papers-now-open/