Presenting my research at conference

Last month I was lucky enough to attend the European Association for Palliative Care’s annual conference. This was the first time that I've presented my work in this way outside of the University so it was really exciting.

L'Estel Ferit sculpture in Barcelona
Iconic sculpture in Barcelona created by Rebecca Horn.

Last month I was lucky enough to attend the European Association for Palliative Care’s annual conference in Lleida, near Barcelona. This conference brought together health professionals and researchers working in the field of palliative care for three of days of talks, workshops and sunshine. This was a particularly exciting conference for me, as it was my first time orally presenting my work outside of the University of Stirling.

In the weeks running up to the conference I felt pretty nervous. I’ve been to conferences in the past and watched speakers presenting their work and ideas, but I had no idea what to expect at this one. Would a Spanish conference feel different? How many people would be there? Would anyone come? All these questions were running around in my head while writing my talk. The week prior to my leaving for the conference I did a practice run within my department. This presentation didn’t go so well. I was over time, and was asked a few questions that I didn’t feel I could answer as well as I’d like to. The conference presentation suddenly seemed very close and very real.

Over the following week I worked on the questions I’d been asked, and tried to pick apart my talk in every way I could think of. I asked myself questions and practiced in front of anyone who would listen. I talked about it on my bike rides to work, I talked to my pet chickens and once I arrived at the conference venue, I practiced in the auditorium where I’d be presenting before anyone arrived, and after delegates had left for the day. I felt so prepared and my nervousness (very nearly!) went away. On the day of the presentation my talk went smoothly. I fielded interesting questions and had some great conversations with delegates afterwards. Throughout the rest of the conference I met lots of other researchers and health professionals, and went to many other interesting talks and workshops. It was also good to meet other researchers working in collaboration with charities and other organisations. I left feeling inspired and happy that I’d been able to share the work of Dreams Come True and the Cancer Care Research Centre in Scotland with such an international audience!

Since then I’ve continued to interview families who have had a dream fulfilled, and am looking forward to sharing more of this work in the future. For now though, thank you for reading and to the European Association for Palliative Care for having me in Lleida!

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Author: Jayne Galinsky

Date: 24/07/2014

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