`Navigating the Academy Session 1: Dealing with input in strategic manner

Navigating Academia can be both exciting and frightening at the same time. When doing a master's or a Ph.D., you will have to present your ideas at workshops, conferences and events, and this can sometimes be nerve-racking. Sometimes you find a very helpful audience willing to give insightful feedback and in some cases, you may find members of the public asking challenging questions, questions we may not know how to answer. Sometimes it may not be the question, but how the question or comment was formulated that can sound intimidating. Dealing with these things can take time and experience and the only way to move forward is by ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyways’. However, in an attempt to share insights and learn some techniques to deal with this, we will be doing a role-play session.

We have asked some members of the audience to be provocative in their questioning. We have asked members of staff to give us some examples of what a provocative input can look like. While not exhausting (and not scientifically proven) we consider a provocative input in the form of questions and behaviours:

Questions:

- The ‘it’s not a question but I am promoting my research comment.' - The ‘I don’t think your methodology can be called science.'
- The personal attack (hopefully never happens)
- The ‘let me force you to overgeneralise.'

- The ‘everything you said makes no sense.'

And behaviours:

- Sit in the back and look mean - Nasty body language
- Ignoring behind a laptop

- Falling asleep in first row 

See attached Briefing Notes for more information