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The Anatomy of a Workshop*

* Warning: this post contains genuine anxiety, real-time procrastination, and 24 carat chaos.  It is not for the fainthearted.

I’m composed of 82% Fear-of-Missing-Out which leads me to agree to a range of things I should probably say no to.  It means I have had the opportunity to do some pretty awesome stuff at work but it also comes at a cost.  The price I pay generally involves a few sleepless nights, the occasional dream that the Vice-Chancellor calls me to a meeting and I turn up naked apart from a stuffed possum on my head and a nervous smile, and a tendency to word coleslaw salad.  

Naturally enough when I got asked to present a workshop on how to do presentations, I said yes.

Several hours-in of the 25+ hours I spent on preparing material for the workshop had me questioning my career choices and cycling through Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief. 

I really love teaching and presenting** and every-so often I manage to convince some kind person that I’m ok at it.  Nevertheless, I still  feel under-prepared and worry about my inadequacy in all sorts of ways.  Feeling like a fraud (be it about our knowledge, our process, or our expertise) is not something we talk about readily but it is something I think we should acknowledge more.

The awesome Hugh Kearns is due to present a workshop on the imposter syndrome  in Dunedin in a couple of weeks (register here!) so it seems timely to write about my reality before rocking up and delivering a talk, lecture or workshop.  

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** Showing-Off, as my mother would say.

Claire Gallop, Graduate Research School

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