Remember: your audience wants you to succeed. No one is plotting for your failure.
Check out your classroom in advance
Familiarize yourself with the layout of the of the room. Where is the spot where you will be speaking from? Is there a podium? How are the desks or chairs arranged? Will you need audio-visual equipment (ie. laptop or a mac computer connector)? How do the lights turn on/off? Is there a chalk board or dry wipe board?
Practice your lecture beforehand
If possible, practice giving your lecture/speech in the room where you will be doing it. Practice your timing and record the amount of time for each portion of your lecture/speech on your speaker's notes to help you keep track of the pacing of your lecture/speech when you are doing it for real.
PRO TIP: See your lecture as your audience will see it and have a friend record your presentation practice. Use that recording to look for ways to streamline your presentation or find out if you have any verbal or non-verbal habits that can be corrected or minimized.
Not only will the water quench a sudden dry throat, but it can also act as a prop. While you won't have time in your 3 minute thesis to sip water, having it before and after helps.
Wear clothing that is professional and exudes confidence. Your clothes should be comfortable and loose enough so that you can move around. Check for potential wardrobe malfunctions.
Script vs Notes
As you work on your presentation, you may start with a detailed script. It is a good idea to distil that script into an outline.
It is best to have your 3MT presentation memorized, but if you have to rely on notes they should be detailed enough to include key definitions, examples, analogies and any other detail that you think you might need some support if you get nervous in front of the room.
Talisman or special token
If you have a small token, good luck charm or special piece of jewelry that makes you feel good, have it on you.
If you have a song or playlist that gets you going and makes you feel good, listen to it on your way to the competition to get PUMPED UP!
Kathy's secret song....
What you are aiming for is.....
To achieve that: