Gadareth Higgs (PhD, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology)

What made you get into Yale’s 3MT competition?

I decided to compete in Yale’s 3MT competition for three main reasons:

  1. I thought it would be a good way to further hone my speaking skills
  2. The prizes were awesome
  3. A friend of mine, Lindsey Stavola, won the competition a few years back

What did you find most challenging about having to narrow your whole research into just 3 minutes?

Deciding what to talk about in only three minutes was challenging because I had to ensure I hooked the audience on the importance of my research, provide enough background for them to understand it generally, and also tell them about my research and its implications. Balancing the amount of time spent presenting each section was critical, but difficult. I couldn’t use terms that were too technical, but I needed to use descriptive language.

Halfway through the competition, you had to adapt to a virtual format. How did you find the experience and which tools that  OCS offered you found most helpful?

Adapting to the virtual format was difficult but necessary. While I thrive on audience energy and eye contact, I understood the importance of continuing to isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The online Panopto class was helpful, and Brian Frenette and Brian Pauze did an awesome job of providing support in the session and afterward.

Any words for the people trying this year?

For anyone trying this year, I would offer the following advice:

  1. Attend every class that OCS offers that is relevant to the 3MT competition
  2. Use all of the relevant resources in OCS, such as PitchVantage and more
  3. Write out your script and revise it with OCS and GWL experts
  4. Practice your script with at least 3 repetitions every day for at least 2 weeks before the preliminary competition