What that means is you’ve got three minutes to explain your thesis—both the results and significance of your project—to a non-scientific audience.
Why did you do it? First, it’s good public speaking practice. Second, it’s a great opportunity to express your creativity. While you know that science is wonderfully, elegantly creative, it’s hard to convey that creativity to people outside of science. The crux of your research project is buried under six feet of complex jargon.
Even the simple things take lots of description. Although you’ve explained it a dozen times at the dinner table, whenever your parents hear the phrase “Western blot,” they can’t help but imagine a Rorschach test in a cowboy hat.
For the Three Minute Thesis (3MT), you’ve got to think outside the box.
Now that you’ve chained yourself to this radiator of an event, you’ve got to think of an idea. How are you going to present your research?
You should wrap your presentation in a metaphor, you think. Have an overall theme and a metaphor compelling enough to capture attention, but simple enough to be immediately understood.
You sit at your desk, dramatically crack your fingers and hunker down in front of your computer to compose the Next Great American Presentation. What’s the main underlying theme behind your project? What’s the important take-home message?