Warwick Skills Certificate
Making Effective Presentations
On the 31stOct and 1stNov 2008, I attended one of the WSC sessions that were advised in the 'Engineering Your Warwick Advantage' lectures. As it was a 'taster' of the efficiency and helpfulness of the course(s) I chose one that I felt was most relevant to me.
I was not disappointed!
The first session was a real drag to get to as it was last thing on a Friday and two hours long but it inspired me, to be honest, the tutors on the course were really very good at finding your weaknesses in presenting and helping you overcome them.
I chose to do my presentation (the first 2mins) on the winter ski season I did in the French Alps this year. We had 15mins planning time and in this time I assembled a presentation (of sorts). I did ramble a bit, I waved my hands about ferociously, shifted my posture (due to uncomfortable shoes, might I add), and did not conclude (!). However, I was told that I project very nicely and that, if I didn't wave my hands around, then my presenting would be really quite acceptable. We were then all told that we'd have to present again the next day on the same topic for longer. Not too hard, little time to prep. (Friday night?!?!?)
Getting to the Saturday was Even Worse, it started at 10am (no lie-in) and continued right 'til 4pm, though I do not regret going at all. We went through all different types of techniques of powerful presenting such as visual aids, smell, touch, sound. Difference in voice control, sentence structure and useful rhetorical methods. As groups we had to watch various presentations by famous people such as M.L.King, T.Blair, Obama, and a comedian - my group had Blair. We then had 15mins to prepare (in a group) a presentation about the methods we had just learned and how this famous speaker had used them. This was hard, especially as my group was not at all enthusiastic - some of the groups' presentations were fabulous!
After this we had 30mins to prepare our own presentations including any props we may have - I had printed out a few pictures that were relevant and that I could use in rhetorical fashions. In the presence of at least one other person, we were required to rehearse. Then we each had to present for 5mins. I must admit, my presentation was so completely different from my rehearsal, it was almost funny! My analysis came back and it was Much better, this time I had really focused on my hands and to stop them moving I put notes in them (it worked), I had already made sure I was wearing comfortable shoes so I didn't shuffle AND for the first time I concluded my presentation. (I failed to mention that the prior 'famous person' presentation I failed to conclude also!).
Therefore, I am most chuffed with this course and am seriously debating whether or not to actually complete my portfolio so I can get the points for it if I do the whole course. I'm not sure. But it was definately worth going to as I will be presenting to my tutor group and also to my optional module seminar group in a few weeks. I feel Much more confident about this now.