Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Art of Mentorship: “I Don’t Like Public Speaking"

Guest Blogger: Emily Paku
Program Coordinator,
Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science



The jitters right before the presentation, stuttering throughout the presentation, and a deep sigh of relief after the presentation--I’m sure I’m not the only one, right? In my role as Program Coordinator for the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science Multisite Study Support and Recruitment UnitI interact with colleagues from various institutions and backgrounds. What I wasn’t prepared for was the number of presentations I'd have to give to the community.

While preparing for one presentation, I discussed my nervousness with Tina Stanger, MHRI’s Director of Contracts & Grants Management. Months later, Tina asked me to co-present at the National Council of University Research Administrators – Region II Meeting.  Talk about tackling your fears head first!
Luckily, with encouragement and coaching from Tina, Becky Montalvo and Karen Wade, I utilized my professional development funds for the conference. Boy, was it a professionally developing experience!
I not only had the opportunity to sharpen my public speaking skills, but also the opportunity to network with research administrators in the Mid-Atlantic region. I attended sessions related to my current position and sessions that provided information I can use in the future.

Through this journey, Tina taught me tips and tricks for public speaking. Because of this, I wasn’t as nervous during the presentation and I even learned some methods for engaging the audience. As a result of the information I learned at MHRI and Tina’s encouragement to present, I was able to share best practices with the attendees. 

We were strongly encouraged to submit our presentation for the next NCURA FRA/PRA conference! Not only did chair and committee members for the conference take the time to let us know that our group was very engaged, attendees stopped by to express how much they learned and how they enjoyed the session.
Thanks to encouragement and coaching received from Tina, Becky & Karen, I took advantage of the opportunity to learn and grow not only as an MHRI associate, but as a clinical research professional. Whether it’s to sharpen a rarely used skill, learn about things related to your field from colleagues and experts across the country or to face your fears: Take advantage of the opportunity!

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