Saturday, 17 March 2012

A bit of self-appraisal before my trip to Sharm El Sheikh.

Unfortunately this post was supposed to be my endless ramblings about IUU fishing (that stands for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing for those who don’t know) but I’ve ran out of time. It so far stands at a 500 word rant on how I thing the management of IUU fishing really needs sorting out but since I really should be heading to bed (Egypt tomorrow!) I shall have to leave it until I return… I’ll get there eventually.

Anyway, whilst that idea has well and truly flown out of the window I don’t have anything of interest to say this week except for the fabulous feedback we got on our presentation. I, being an incredibly nervous person, generally dread any element of “public speaking” and so when we had to do our (second) presentation I wanted to drastically improve on my first attempt. One thing that was flagged up was my confidence – I dipped in and out of being confident and incredibly shy, and that whenever I stumbled over my words I struggled to get back into it since I had (essentially) memorised a script. Well, this time round I decided to ditch all of that. Any presentations that I have done prior to this have involved me sitting, looking at myself in a mirror with my stop watch and a scripted presentation, and reading it out-loud over and over again. I didn’t want to do it this time, a) to prove to them that I am capable of doing it and b) to prove to myself that I am actually quite a clever person (I just don’t give myself enough credit)

(There… I said it)

I dealt with the management side of IUU fishing (this is why I needed to finish that one… oh well) and, to be perfectly honest, reading about the subject made my blood boil. It angered me how it was blindingly obvious what needed to be done and how IUU fishing could be dealt with, yet no one was doing it. Obviously I understand that there are various pitfalls generally surrounding politics which, admittedly, I know very little about, but it is such a shame.

Going back to the talk, I rambled. I honestly rambled. I had a glass (or two) of wine before we had to speak to calm the ol’ nerves (it helped, I had a half-pint before my dissertation presentation and that landed me a First so don’t knock it) and I thought that I totally fluffed it up. Well and truly.

The day after we were called back, as a group, to get some feedback from the class and the lecturer (Prof. Callum Roberts) and I was pretty amazed; the comments from the seminar group were generally quite positive and Callum gave some constructive criticism. I was the last speaker so I was the last to receive the feedback (I was getting nervous by this point – I don’t think I had any nails left by the end of it). I expected him to say “it was good, but you were very nervous and spoke awfully quick” – what was said was quite contrary. He said I was a very professional speaker, confident, collected and well organised… I still can’t get over it. From someone who was trying to map the layout of the corridor to suss where the toilet was so I could throw up (been there, done that, and that was only in front of a few group of friends!) to someone who actually did pretty damn good, well, it’s a huge achievement for me.

I guess there has to be some kind of message in all of this, right? I can’t just post some ridiculously egocentric post because that’s just not how I roll… or is it? Maybe we should all be allowed to have the limelight without being criticised for being big-headed. I think it would do us all some good to speak highly of ourselves, a bit of self-appraisal goes a long way. 

Right, I really should wrap it up and log off… It’s nearly 1am and I’ve got to be at Manchester Airport tomorrow for 11am for my trip to Sharm El Sheikh. I’m ridiculously excited but a little bit nervous. I’m going to try and nab some WiFi spots whilst I’m out there to keep people updates on my three-week adventure so I may try and fit in a blog post of what I’ve been doing.

Time to log off… Adios and see you all in three weeks x

Picasso Trigger Fish, Rhinecanthus assasi
Photo by Tim Nicholson


  1. So nice to finally hear you say that you've done fantastically well and not put it down to it being a fluke or something. There's nothing big headed about recognising when you've done well and wanting to share that with people - who doesn't enjoy hearing from a friend or loved one that they're happy because they're proud of themselves?