Final Entry on Effective Seminar Participation
Original Action Points:
- To remember not to allow my body to move too much when delivering presentations i.e. stop myself from swaying as this can communicate insecurity.
- To be definite in my presentation of information and questioning. Not be backed down to interruption or question my right to speak.
- To end clearly and present alternatives to the cliche 'are there any questions?' For example, 'I'm sure you have plenty you would like to contribute and I would be happy to hear this now.'
After finishing a busy second term, I've now had some time to reflect on the many seminar presentations I have been involved with. My delivery has continued to improve as demonstrated from feedback, which highlights the fluent and clear presentation of my material. Plus, I continue to make more of an effort to actively contribute to discussions, although this can sometimes be hard at the end of a long day.
Another lesson learned was the importance of a clear ending and I will continue to make conscious efforts to demonstrate this in my future seminar presentations. In future, I will also try to maintain a body language that portrays confidence, whilst also not being too static. I will continue to remain diplomatic in my choice of words and avoid falling back on phrases that could appear to question my right to speak, such as “I’m sorry but could you…”
I’m usually quite comfortable projecting my voice, but will remember to use pitch, pace and power (rhythm) to keep listeners engaged and portray my enthusiasm for the subject. I have found it much easier to do this by not scripting myself strictly, to avoid sounding like I am reading something out word for word. Instead, by learning the order of key points I want to get across, it allows my spoken language to remain more natural, aiding a fluent presentation style and also means I do not have to rely on notes.
Overall, this workshop helped to consolidate a lot of theory that was already familiar to me but was presented in an interesting and fresh approach that emphasised the importance of speech and posture. The key points I will take with me into future seminars include, a good posture, clear and definite delivery and remember to take responsibility for being active to engage and communicate confidence.