Art History PhD Student Cai Lyons Talks About Success in 3-Minute Thesis Competition

"Following her success in the 3-minute thesis competition, doctoral student Cai Lyons (@CaiLyons) has talked about the experience. Our congratulations to Cai for her achievement.

Cai commented:

"On May 15, I stood in front of over 200 people and spent three minutes presenting my PhD research. Coming to the end of the first year of my PhD, this was an opportunity to show what I've done, demonstrate the potential impact of my work, and, most importantly, introduce more people to the artist Mary Swanzy HRHA (1882-1978). My knees were shaking and weak but I was confident in my performance and the content of my presentation.  Winning came second to the thunderous - at least to me - applause and the people who came up to me afterwards. Someone commented that my presentation was "TED talk level". I don't think there is a better compliment! 

Trying to condense your thesis into three minutes is no easy feat. Dr. Eren Bilgen and Dr. Georgina Hardy proved invaluable, always providing helpful insights and support, in workshops, drop-in sessions, and private conversation. I'd like to thank them for this, as well as the other participants, from semi-finalists to finalists. Despite being from completely different research areas and Colleges in the University, everyone was eager to listen, learn, and give feedback.

Participating in the 3MT has given me more confidence in my voice and my research, and the importance of both. It has helped me refine my research questions, hone my focus, and communicate the potential impact of my research. I've gained better communication skills, conquered my stage fright, and, of course, have a YouTube video where I get to share the story of Mary Swanzy to a wider audience."