BY CHRISTIEN BOOMSMA
Eva Pantelakis carries a teapot in her purse.
It’s a gold teapot, with an elegant spout and a round belly. She takes it out and rubs it, not unlike Aladdin would rub his magic lamp. ‘It suits me’, she explains. ‘I like fairy tales. As a kid, I would listen to fairy tales on tape. I would just lose myself completely in them.’
But the teapot – or Aladdin’s magic lamp – also represents goals. Her goals, in particular: she wants to truly reach people, and teach them how they can reach others in turn. By relaxing, for example, and by not just acting like an expert trying to convince people but allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
All of this will hopefully result in someone getting the grant they’ve always wanted. Maybe a Veni. A Vidi. Or maybe even an ERC Grant.
Pantelakis is a presentation trainer for the UG. For eight years, she has been training academics in public speaking. Their audience might be a full lecture hall, or, just as important, the small group of scientists researchers have to convince of the importance of their research proposal now that they’ve made it through the first round.
‘But those people see more than ten presentations a day’, says Pantelakis. ‘So it’s important to grab their attention from the very first sentence.’