Kelly Suvari, Arboricultural Officer at London Borough of Camden, tells us about her experience of presenting at the National Tree Officers Conference (NTOC) in 2016.
Why did you decide to submit an abstract?
When I first heard about the National Tree Officers Conference, I was interested to attend but I never thought I would end up presenting to such a wide audience of tree professionals. At the time I had been working on creating an internal procedure for tree officers in relation to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. The aim of creating this document, was to give some clarity and method when dealing with this legislation.
I thought this subject might be of interest to other Tree Officers, and for me to get some feedback on how they deal with different situations that arise. For these reasons, and encouragement from my colleagues, I decided to submit a paper.
How did you plan your presentation?
I get very nervous when it comes to public speaking, and I have only ever presented at team meetings, therefore the idea of presenting to such a large audience was very daunting for me. However, I believe if you plan well and practise your presentation you will overcome your nerves.
When I was preparing my presentation I prepared the main topic points within my PowerPoint notes section, to ensure I did not over complicate things for myself and the audience. I used bullet points to prompt me and this kept me focused. I found using diagrams also helped me to explain processes more clearly, rather than getting tongue-tied trying to talk about everything.
What did you learn from the experience?
It was a great experience to speak at the National Tree Officers Conference, it has given me the confidence to present to a large audience again in the future. I found the feedback after my presentation to be really useful. If I was to do this again, I would allow myself more time to practise, elaborate more where needed, practise my timing and rehearse out loud with a smaller audience.
The submission period for abstracts to be presented at the National Tree Officers Conference 2017 is now open and it will close on Friday 12th May 2017 at 17:00hrs. For further information click here