Report on Resilience and Self-Confidence Workshop



written by Kate Norman



The first day focused on self-confidence and was run by a trainer from Vox coaching. This was an interactive session where the group took part in activities to develop communication skills. It started off by looking at body language and vocal tone and how these components are the key to successful communication. This led onto the elements of physical presence: grounding to the floor, being drawn upwards, focussing the attention on the audience and speaking with passion. The group then participated in various tasks to put these skills into practice before moving onto vocal presence, working on pitch and pace. Everyone practiced entering a room, introducing themselves and saying a little bit about their research. Here we looked at body language, where to hold your hands and pace of delivery. Constructive feedback was given on presentation style. We participated in short activities to practice some techniques we had learned. A task to help us slow down and emphasise each sentence required you to walk between two chairs after finishing a sentence, which helped the presenter keep a good pace. The day ended by spending a bit of time looking at successful networking techniques. This included setting a simple goal and introducing yourself with the greatest effect.

Overall the day was very rewarding, the group had fun participating in the activities and the day rounded off with dinner and drinks. A few of us went on to play an escape the room game (mad scientist themed) and we managed to escape with seconds to spare.

The second day was focused on resilience and CV writing. The resilience session was a great chance to have group discussions about life and challenges faced in academia. We worked in groups to pick out some of the hurdles we have come across and then filled out action plans using self-reflection, self-care, stress management etc. This was followed by a session on mindfulness and a discussion on what tools were available to us to continue to work on our well-being. The group discussed cognitive behavioural therapy and how this can help you to change your mind set and outlook. The last part of the day was a workshop focused on writing good academic CV's and looked at some great and inspirational examples. We went through what to include in an academic CV and how best to sell yourself.