What is 3MT®?

3MT® is an academic competition that challenges doctoral and master's students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. 3MT® celebrates the discoveries made by research students and encourages communication about the importance of their research to the broader community.

3MT® Details

The next 3MT® at Wichita State University will be held on November 3, 2023, in the Rhatigan Student Center. Students will be divided into preliminary heats. Heat winners will move on to the final round of judging later that afternoon.

Who is eligible to participate?      

Any graduate student enrolled in master's, PhD, or doctoral programs may compete.  A student's program of study must contain an original research project.  The degree program need not normally require a thesis or dissertation, however the presentation topic must cover an original research project.  You must be enrolled during the fall semester to participate in the competition!  Fall graduates are eligible to participate, but please note that the WSU winner is expected to present at a conference the following Spring.

Presentation Rules
  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted.  No slide transitions, animations or movement of any description are allowed.  The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.  No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum.  Competitors exceeding three minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoke word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
  • Academics (both students and professors) typically present at professional conferences to people who are familiar with their discipline’s jargon and topics. 3MT® is different. In a 3MT® competition, you’re communicating with a general audience. They need to understand the problem and why finding a solution is important.
  • Engage your audience: speak to their minds and their feelings.
  • A three-minute speech is more difficult than longer speeches; you must be concise. Think hard to determine what your research is about: try to see where it fits in the larger context and as part of the bigger (sometimes global) problem.
  • Both your speech and your slide should be carefully crafted. Think of it as a piece of art!
  • Each second of your three-minute speech should be planned, revised, revised again, improved upon, and rehearsed. Practice, practice, practice!
  • Your speech needs clear structure:
    • An introduction—Something catchy that gets your audience’s attention
    • The middle part with the details—What are you investigating and what have you found?
    • A conclusion—a statement, summary, or story for your audience to remember you by.
  • Your slide should be an organic part of your speech. There are endless possibilities! Once again, look at your slice as a piece of conceptual art: an image, symbol, or graphic—that illustrates your point. 
Speak for Success Video

Lisa Parcell and Sandy Sipes, from the Elliott School of Communication, explain how to synthesize your research, speak persuasively and how to explain the significance of your findings to different audiences.

Download a PDF of the judging rubric here.
3MT 2023 Schedule

November 3, RSC 2nd floor

11.20 AM - 11.30 AM - Check-in

11.30 AM - 12 PM - Preliminary Rounds (RSC 262 - Herman + RSC 266 - Pike)

12 PM - 12.45 PM - Lunch (RSC 265 - Lucas)  

12.45 PM - 1 PM - Finalists announced (RSC 233 - Santa Fe)

1 PM - 1.45 PM - 3MT Final (RSC 233 - Santa Fe)

1.45 PM- 2.15 PM - Graduate School Annual Awards Ceremony (RSC 233 -Santa Fe)

2.15 PM - 2.30 PM - 3MT winners announced (RSC 233 -Santa Fe)