The stage was set. A thousand people had taken their seats. Stage lights were blaring. Cameras were circling. In the green room, 10 PhD students, 10 knotted stomachs. I have a weird interest in seeing how other people cope with pressure. Some use humour, some remain pessimistic. Some are humble, some are cocky. Some laugh, lots cry. All this nervous tension though, for only three minutes on stage.