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November 10, 2011

First Entry on Effective Seminar Participation P5m

This workshop was such a surprise! Even though it was 3 hours long and on a Monday evening, I did not even realise where the time had gone. The tutor, Bev Walshe, was absolutely fantastic. Direct, humourous, expressive; there was no way anyone could get bored during this workshop.

At first, she let us socialize in a free way so that we had to know something special about the new people we were supposed to get to know with (e.g. Antonio is a professional guitarist).

Secondly, she introduced us to the concept of body language, giving vibrant examples and letting us comment on each case. I never thought that I could actually pass so many messages, subconsiously or not, via my body language.

Thirdly, she showed us how to be and look confident using our moves and voice. As she said, it doesn't matter if we are small in size. We can raise our voice, and make our presence obvious.

This was the point when I started thinking... "what do all of these things have to do with seminar participation?"

However, my concerns were eliminated by the excercise that we were assigned. We had to form couples, read a small presentation and try to come up with effective ways of presenting the information given to us in an effective way, according to what we have been taught before. We had to make sure we keep our "audience" interested, and provoke their thought. That is why she seperated us in two groups - the one consisted of people who were to present their topics in a "round table" and the other consisting of the observers. The observers' role was very important because they monitored if the presentors were actually effective, as well as the audience's reactions.

At this point, Bev told us that what makes a seminar effective is not only the presentor but also the people in the auduence. They have to look interested and using their face expression, they have to encourage the presentor to perform with confidence.

This was indeed the most useful and interesting workshop I have ever been to, and that is probably thanks to Bev Walshe.

Action Points:

1. I will always try to keep my hands off my pockets whenever I present something otherwise that could imply that I am in an awkward position

2. I will always look any person that present their ideas, in the eyes and try to encourage them with my face expression

3. I will gain confidence inside of me, when making a presentation, so that the people listening to me become interested as well

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