I spoke at my first demo day as a teen researcher. This is what I learned.

Apurva Joshi
3 min readAug 30, 2020

I recently presented my work with human limb regeneration this summer at BostInno’s demo day. Here are some of my takeaways!

**Shoutout to Rowan Walrath, Cassidy Beegle-Johnson, Cat Francis, Mollie O’Brien, and the team at BostInno for doing a spectacular job organizing event!**

#1: Have high standards for the presentation of your work.

When it came to the actual slides, I remember looking back at my slides and realizing, “oh wow, these could’ve been much better than they were for this demo day!”

Using professional templates or developing your own professional template if you’re part of a business or project for your slides shows the audience that you’re legit and you take yourself and your work seriously.

For virtual presentations like the BostInno demo day, your speaking background makes a world of difference: having high standards for the lighting, taking care that your voice can be heard clearly, propping the computer up at eye-level are all small things that you can do to make sure you do your very best the day of!

The way you speak is the keystone of a good presentation in my opinion. You can have amazing work, but if you don’t sound enthusiastic (or conversely, over-enthusiastic), not many people are going to pay attention. It was really important for me to practice having a conversational tone and consistently smile and be upbeat when I was speaking.

Essentially, all of these things can definitely be taken care of before a presentation, so it’s always a good idea to do them!

#2: Show enthusiasm, even when you’re not speaking.

When you don’t show enthusiasm especially when you’re not speaking, you’re basically saying to everyone else “I’d rather be doing anything but be here at this speaking event right now.”

Major mood killer. Learning about cutting edge technology from legit people is one of the best ways to spend your time, so why not have fun with it? But if you’re not demonstrating interest, again, no one else is going to pay attention!

#3: Have faith in yourself!

^This coming from the world’s biggest overthinker. I run through at least 500 different ways that something can go wrong, especially if it involves speaking in front of large groups of people. Often times, this immobilizes me to the point where I can’t focus on anything else but the presentation and making sure it’s perfect so that none of those 500+ possibilities become reality.

For my fellow overthinkers, let’s use this paradigm shift: think about 500+ ways that the event go right. That’s a possibility, isn’t it?

I know, i know — that way of thinking is a lot easier said than done. When you do the right kind of prep work, and own the work you’re speaking about (trust me, no one knows the exact ins and outs of your work better than you do!) things end up being a lot better than you think they’ll be!

Take a deep breath and smile, do what you need to do to prep, and go out there and crush it — a surefire way for a success!

Thank you for reading my takeaways on my experience speaking at a BostInno x TKS Demo Day! If you’d like to chat, I’d love to get in touch! You can find me on Linkedin or reach me through my personal email: writetoapurva@gmail.com. Until next time!

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Apurva Joshi

Currently conducting independent research in iPSC derivation. Outside of that: 2nd-yr bchm & neuro @ brandeis, alum @ TKS, writer of medium articles