October 06, 2013

A1: Final Follow–Up Entry

Follow-up to A1: Second Follow–Up Entry from Kang Yu Ng

Here is my final update for the A1 workshop. As mentioned in my previous bogpost, I will talked about my experience in using the Cornell Method in an academic context which was different with what I have done prior to this. I applied the Cornell Method as I attended the same lectures as he students were attending, to really ‘put myself in their shoes’ and challenge myself to see if I can absorb and digest the information taught to them by my colleague. What I have been doing for my entire academic journey to date has been just writing bits and pieces of information on the lecture notes given and process them into linear notes. This method has been serving me well and I thought it is a good time to take a step out of my comfort zone and try something different for I may be surprised at how a new method may prove to be effective. As the saying goes ‘If you never try, you will never know’, it was worth a shot to see how things goes and I might employ the Cornell Method to make my notes in the new academic year if all goes well. Below is a description on how I went about writing in each of the different sections in the Cornell Method:

1) Record

As I have said before, this is the simplest part of the entire process and it only involves writing down key information which I picked out from the lecture. This includes key phrases, ideas and concepts that highlight the guise of the topic in question. This is very much similar to what I have been always doing by writing, without much organisation, notes down on my lecture notes.

2) Reduce

I think this is a very crucial step of the Cornell Method, in which it really encourages users to put the information in their own words. Sometimes I may be able topick out what the lecturer said and regurgitate them in examinations but with no firm understanding of the concepts underlying these ideas. However, if I were to be constantly condensing and rephrasing what I hear from lectures, it really forces me to have a good deep think about the concepts so that what I write down on my own notes is accurate. Going through such a summarisng and thinking process really helps me to be able to retain the information because it was not a ‘touch-and-go’ approach coupled with rigid memorising as examinations approach. In Economics, where causal relationships are very common in theories, I think the use of arrows really helps with the process. For example, this is a typical way I would condensed the content and put it in the cue column:

I was noting down the basic mechanism of an expansionary monetary policy.

Money Supply ↑ à Interest Rate ↑à interest sensitive consumption & investment ↑à Aggregate Demand curve shifts rightwards and output ↑ for every price level.

This puts a long paragraph of words into a simple two-liner which ensures that the essence of the concept remains intact.

3) Recite

With the Reduce step in place, it made the Recite step a breeze. Since I have already digested the concepts in the Reduce step and wrote them out in my own words, it really did not take much effort for me to be able to regurgitate the ideas from the lectures, and this time with very good understanding as well.

4) Reflect

What I did for this step is that I would think about the implications and relevanceof the concepts that were taught in the lecture to the topic as whole. In other words, it was about how I connect this small pieces of puzzle given to me in this lecture and how I seeing them coming together with the other pieces to form the big picture. I would try to note down how the previous lecture connects with the current lecture to deepen my understanding of the entire topic. In addition, I think that mindmaps fit in perfectly in facilitating the Reflect step as it is very helpful in connecting ideas and allows one to trace back to the concepts taught previously. I would pen these down in the Summary Column along with some questions and expectations of what content I think would be delivered in the next lecture. This would also remind me to raise any misconceptions and gaps in understanding with the lecturer when the opportunity arises.

5) Review

I think this particular step is best left to the night before the next lecture of the subject since it refreshes your mind as to what was taught in the previous lecture. This ensures that you are on the right thinking track and helps ease you into a lecture since you would have an expectation what would be taught in the lecture.

It has been a pleasant experience attempting the Cornell Method and I think it is worth a shot to try this out in the new academic year and see if it would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of my note-taking and revision.

As I conclude my blogposts for this workshop, I think I have learnt and experience a great deal of new approaches to note-making, something which I did not really make an effort to do as I was comfortable with what I have been doing. I thank you for the very helpful comments that you have been giving me and it really set me thinking of what I could possibly do to enhance this experience.

I look forward to attending my final workshop and completing the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award.


A1: Final Follow–Up Entry

Follow-up to A1: Second Follow–Up Entry from Kang Yu Ng

Here is my final update for the A1 workshop. As mentioned in my previous bogpost, I will talked about my experience in using the Cornell Method in an academic context which was different with what I have done prior to this. I applied the Cornell Method as I attended the same lectures as he students were attending, to really ‘put myself in their shoes’ and challenge myself to see if I can absorb and digest the information taught to them by my colleague. What I have been doing for my entire academic journey to date has been just writing bits and pieces of information on the lecture notes given and process them into linear notes. This method has been serving me well and I thought it is a good time to take a step out of my comfort zone and try something different for I may be surprised at how a new method may prove to be effective. As the saying goes ‘If you never try, you will never know’, it was worth a shot to see how things goes and I might employ the Cornell Method to make my notes in the new academic year if all goes well. Below is a description on how I went about writing in each of the different sections in the Cornell Method:

1) 1) Record

As I have said before, this is the simplest part of the entire process and it only involves writing down key information which I picked out from the lecture. This includes key phrases, ideas and concepts that highlight the guise of the topic in question. This is very much similar to what I have been always doing by writing, without much organisation, notes down on my lecture notes.

2) 2) Reduce

I think this is a very crucial step of the Cornell Method, in which it really encourages users to put the information in their own words. Sometimes I may be able topick out what the lecturer said and regurgitate them in examinations but with no firm understanding of the concepts underlying these ideas. However, if I were to be constantly condensing and rephrasing what I hear from lectures, it really forces me to have a good deep think about the concepts so that what I write down on my own notes is accurate. Going through such a summarisng and thinking process really helps me to be able to retain the information because it was not a ‘touch-and-go’ approach coupled with rigid memorising as examinations approach. In Economics, where causal relationships are very common in theories, I think the use of arrows really helps with the process. For example, this is a typical way I would condensed the content and put it in the cue column:

I was noting down the basic mechanism of an expansionary monetary policy.

Money Supply ↑ à Interest Rate ↑à interest sensitive consumption & investment ↑à Aggregate Demand curve shifts rightwards and output ↑ for every price level.

This puts a long paragraph of words into a simple two-liner which ensures that the essence of the concept remains intact.

3) 3) Recite

With the Reduce step in place, it made the Recite step a breeze. Since I have already digested the concepts in the Reduce step and wrote them out in my own words, it really did not take much effort for me to be able to regurgitate the ideas from the lectures, and this time with very good understanding as well.

4) 4) Reflect

What I did for this step is that I would think about the implications and relevanceof the concepts that were taught in the lecture to the topic as whole. In other words, it was about how I connect this small pieces of puzzle given to me in this lecture and how I seeing them coming together with the other pieces to form the big picture. I would try to note down how the previous lecture connects with the current lecture to deepen my understanding of the entire topic. In addition, I think that mindmaps fit in perfectly in facilitating the Reflect step as it is very helpful in connecting ideas and allows one to trace back to the concepts taught previously. I would pen these down in the Summary Column along with some questions and expectations of what content I think would be delivered in the next lecture. This would also remind me to raise any misconceptions and gaps in understanding with the lecturer when the opportunity arises.

5) 5) Review

I think this particular step is best left to the night before the next lecture of the subject since it refreshes your mind as to what was taught in the previous lecture. This ensures that you are on the right thinking track and helps ease you into a lecture since you would have an expectation what would be taught in the lecture.

It has been a pleasant experience attempting the Cornell Method and I think it is worth a shot to try this out in the new academic year and see if it would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of my note-taking and revision.

As I conclude my blogposts for this workshop, I think I have learnt and experience a great deal of new approaches to note-making, something which I did not really make an effort to do as I was comfortable with what I have been doing. I thank you for the very helpful comments that you have been giving me and it really set me thinking of what I could possibly do to enhance this experience.

I look forward to attending my final workshop and completing the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award.


A1: Final Follow–Up Entry

Follow-up to A1: Second Follow–Up Entry from Kang Yu Ng

Here is my final update for the A1 workshop. As mentioned in my previous bogpost, I will talked about my experience in using the Cornell Method in an academic context which was different with what I have done prior to this. I applied the Cornell Method as I attended the same lectures as he students were attending, to really ‘put myself in their shoes’ and challenge myself to see if I can absorb and digest the information taught to them by my colleague. What I have been doing for my entire academic journey to date has been just writing bits and pieces of information on the lecture notes given and process them into linear notes. This method has been serving me well and I thought it is a good time to take a step out of my comfort zone and try something different for I may be surprised at how a new method may prove to be effective. As the saying goes ‘If you never try, you will never know’, it was worth a shot to see how things goes and I might employ the Cornell Method to make my notes in the new academic year if all goes well. Below is a description on how I went about writing in each of the different sections in the Cornell Method:

1) 1) Record

As I have said before, this is the simplest part of the entire process and it only involves writing down key information which I picked out from the lecture. This includes key phrases, ideas and concepts that highlight the guise of the topic in question. This is very much similar to what I have been always doing by writing, without much organisation, notes down on my lecture notes.

2) 2) Reduce

I think this is a very crucial step of the Cornell Method, in which it really encourages users to put the information in their own words. Sometimes I may be able topick out what the lecturer said and regurgitate them in examinations but with no firm understanding of the concepts underlying these ideas. However, if I were to be constantly condensing and rephrasing what I hear from lectures, it really forces me to have a good deep think about the concepts so that what I write down on my own notes is accurate. Going through such a summarisng and thinking process really helps me to be able to retain the information because it was not a ‘touch-and-go’ approach coupled with rigid memorising as examinations approach. In Economics, where causal relationships are very common in theories, I think the use of arrows really helps with the process. For example, this is a typical way I would condensed the content and put it in the cue column:

I was noting down the basic mechanism of an expansionary monetary policy.

Money Supply ↑ à Interest Rate ↑à interest sensitive consumption & investment ↑à Aggregate Demand curve shifts rightwards and output ↑ for every price level.

This puts a long paragraph of words into a simple two-liner which ensures that the essence of the concept remains intact.

3) 3) Recite

With the Reduce step in place, it made the Recite step a breeze. Since I have already digested the concepts in the Reduce step and wrote them out in my own words, it really did not take much effort for me to be able to regurgitate the ideas from the lectures, and this time with very good understanding as well.

4) 4) Reflect

What I did for this step is that I would think about the implications and relevanceof the concepts that were taught in the lecture to the topic as whole. In other words, it was about how I connect this small pieces of puzzle given to me in this lecture and how I seeing them coming together with the other pieces to form the big picture. I would try to note down how the previous lecture connects with the current lecture to deepen my understanding of the entire topic. In addition, I think that mindmaps fit in perfectly in facilitating the Reflect step as it is very helpful in connecting ideas and allows one to trace back to the concepts taught previously. I would pen these down in the Summary Column along with some questions and expectations of what content I think would be delivered in the next lecture. This would also remind me to raise any misconceptions and gaps in understanding with the lecturer when the opportunity arises.

5) 5) Review

I think this particular step is best left to the night before the next lecture of the subject since it refreshes your mind as to what was taught in the previous lecture. This ensures that you are on the right thinking track and helps ease you into a lecture since you would have an expectation what would be taught in the lecture.

It has been a pleasant experience attempting the Cornell Method and I think it is worth a shot to try this out in the new academic year and see if it would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of my note-taking and revision.

As I conclude my blogposts for this workshop, I think I have learnt and experience a great deal of new approaches to note-making, something which I did not really make an effort to do as I was comfortable with what I have been doing. I thank you for the very helpful comments that you have been giving me and it really set me thinking of what I could possibly do to enhance this experience.

I look forward to attending my final workshop and completing the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award.


September 10, 2013

A1: Second Follow–Up Entry

Follow-up to A1: First Follow–Up Entry from Kang Yu Ng

Here is my second update which is going to place particular focus on Action Point 2 and 3 as mentioned in the previous blog post.

As I was tasked to take on a couple of classes for my internship stint to give me a taster to teaching as a profession, I have to ensure that I have a sufficient level of content mastery. To do that, I have to revise the concepts and examination techniques that are required in the A’levels syllabus. Although I have gone through these topics before as an A’levels candidate, I have become rusty with the concepts. Moreover, teaching a subject requires the teacher to have absolute clarity of the subject matter. This triggered me to put my Action Point 2. I started off making linear notes on my own using the school’s notes as reference, just like what I have been doing all these time in my journey as a student. This was fairly simple to get through because it is a habit and something that I am very familiar with. After which, I went on to explore the unknown territory which is mind-mapping. The aim is to actually map out the key ideas in the topic which emphasises the relationship between different parts of the chapter. In my opinion, a mind-map should do a good job at that with its ‘branching’ kind of format. As I went on with the drafting of my mind-map, one difficulty I faced was the condensed points into a word per branch. Thankfully, the practise of writing on the Cue Column of the Cornell Method previously eased things a little. As an individual with little artistic flair, it was no surprise that I started off drawing the mind-map with just not trusty black pen in hand. However, it made the mind-map all seemed a little too dull as compared to the sample ones I found on the Internet. Thereafter, I decided to redo the mind-map, this time with a set of colour pens which I bought just for this purpose.

Using the set of linear notes accompanied with the mind-map, I could recap the concepts very efficiently. This is because I would mentally recap the concepts in my mind by looking at the mind-map, recalling how each branch leads to another and establishing that relationship firmly in my head. If I am unsure about any specific branch, I would then return to the linear notes for a more detailed explanation. I used this piece of mind-map as an introduction of the topic to the class, trying to show them the ‘big’ picture so that they would appreciate the various small parts of the topic that they are learning. I would also constantly refer back to the mind-map to recap on the role a particular part of the topic plays in connecting to the next part and I felt that it really helped to root these relationships in the minds of the students. A sign that the mind-map was well-received would be the fact that they requested for that piece of mind-map that the series of classes on that topic. A lack of foresight meant that I gave it to them without making a digital copy for myself, sadly. Well, there are many more opportunities to produce mind-maps, especially when the new term is about to kick in.

With regards to Action Point 3, this was really put into use when I was re-reading notes that I was familiar with as an A’Levels candidate. There are remnants of information in my mind so I figured that a very thorough read of the notes was going to be an inefficient use of time. I applied the skills of skimming and scanning, techniques that I am already pretty familiar with, but this time done with more awareness. I would be conscious about which technique I am using at each particular moment so that I can convey these techniques to my students, who are preparing for their Promotional Examinations. This is a period where time is of essence hence it would be wise to employ more efficient methods to pick out key details from notes that the student should have already read.

One thing I would want to try, moving forward, would be to use the Cornell Method in an academic context instead of what I have done during my second blog-post. I look forward to sharing with you my reflections on that in my final blog post for this workshop.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.


A1: First Follow–Up Entry

Follow-up to P4: Second Follow–Up Entry from Kang Yu Ng

Here is my first update with regards to the progress of my action points.

I have been picking up many new things and putting myself out of my comfort zone as I work my way through my internships. The action point to employ the Cornell Method as my primary technique for note-taking is definitely one of them. I must admit that it did take a conscious effort to always remind myself to divide the sheet of A4 paper into the different segments. I slowly got the hang of this approximately one week into my first internship. Initially, I started off with making notes, using the Cornell Method, during staff meetings. The Cornell Method basically segment the sheet of A4 paper into 3 key segments, namely the Cue Column, the Notetaking Column and the Summary Column. The Notetaking Column consists of 5 elements which are Record, Questions, Recite, Reflect and Review. Although the original intention for the Cornell Method was intended more towards academic/learning note-taking, I wanted to see if it would work for meetings with a few tweaks here and there. I put the Cornell Method to the test for about 3 to 4 weeks so as to really assess its effectiveness and efficiency as compared to my usual linear note taking method which I have been using and also heavily reliant on. Below is a description on what I did for each of the different elements in the notetaking column:


Record

This is the perhaps the simplest part of the 5 steps. I would basically take down as many details as possible during the meetings including tasks assigned to me, along with the deadlines. In addition, I will also note down key events or projects taking place within the economics department, which I am part of.

Reduce

After the meeting, I would attempt to summarise the details that I have taken down by re-phrasing them into shorter phrases or single words, if possible. I will put this ‘condensed’ information on the Cue Column, aligned with the original piece of information in the notetaking column. For example, when I was tasked to design a banner for the Economics and Financial Literacy Festival, I will rephrase the information onto the Cue Column as below:

E & FL Fest Banner / 20th July / Ms Yap

As far as task assignments are concerned, I have standardised the above format as:


Task / Deadline / Reporting Officer

 

As for task details, I would condense the information to the format as shown below:

 

6 metres by 2 metres / No event date / Freestyle


Unlike the task assignment notes, I did not standardised a particular format for task details because these information varies very much from task to task. What I would do is to pick out the key words of different aspect or dimension of the task and put them on the Cue Column. For the above example, I picked out the dimensions of the poster, a key requirement and how the poster is to be designed.

Recite

This is probably less relevant for the context of meetings and therefore I decided to skip this portion.

Reflect

I I took this opportunity to schedule and brainstorm for ideas to accomplish the task assigned to me. During this reflection process, I will draft out a rough timeline which states the desired completion dates for the different stages of the task. I will also think about how I want to proceed with the task. In this case, I began to research and note down some design ideas for the banner. Since I was allowed to design it freely with my creativity, I penned down my desired colour scheme, pictures to be included and so on.

 Review

I would normally review my notes for the week on Sunday. This helps to remind me about what went on over the week and get me ready for the new week ahead! In addition, it also serves to point out to me about the deadlines I have to meet, facilitating the planning of my schedule for the week ahead.


As for the Summary Column, what I really use it for is to pen down my reflections. I do not really find it necessary in the context of meetings to re-enter the details that can be found largely in the Cue Column. What I do is basically just list down the key information about events/assignments that I gathered during the meetings, and refer to the cue column for further information. The rest of the space would be used for writing down the thoughts from my reflection process.

As I will be given the opportunity to teach some classes during my internships, I intend to employ my actionpoint 2 and 3 in the preparation for my classes. Action Point 3 would be used largely to recap on the topics that I am going to teach which will help me in sieving out important learning points in an efficient manner. On the other hand, Action Point 2 would be employed to allow me to present the concepts to the students in an ‘overview’ manner which hopefully can help them see the big picture of the entire chapter to make learning more fruitful.

Please do look forward to my next update. Thank you very much for your kind attention.


June 28, 2013

A1: Reading and Note–making

I attended this workshop with the purpose of learning more effective and efficient reading and note-making techniques. In the third and final year of my Economics undergraduate course, the Research in Applied Economics module will require me to carry out empirical research on a specified topic and produce a thesis. On top of collecting data, I anticipate that there would be a great volume of reading and note-making involved in the process of putting together a thesis. As a result, I thought that it would be incredibly useful if I could pick up some tips and methods from the workshop.

The workshop was conducted at a suitable pace where we first zoomed in on note-making. I was used to making linear notes because it was easy to use. During the workshop, I was introduced to some other methods of note-making such as the Cornell System, Spider Diagram and Mind-Mapping. Mind-mapping is not new to me and I have attempted to use them a couple of times but found them unattractive because, in my opinion, they do not tend to capture the details. This is a consequence of the fact that one of the key-characteristic of mind-mapping is the emphasis of using one word for each branch. After some discussion with my group members, we were in agreement with this shortfall of mind-maps. However, we concluded that mind-maps could be a useful tool for one to have a quick overview of a topic for revision and presentation purposes. The mind-maps could easily be accompanied by linear notes to ensure the completeness of the notes. With regards to exploring new territory, I would be keen to try out the Cornell System for a start.

For the rest of the workshop, we focused on reading techniques. The 3 reading techniques introduced were scanning, skimming and range-reading. In truth, I realised that I have been applying them on a regular basis for many purposes in daily activities such as newspaper reading but probably not aware of the particular technique that I was using at each point in time. I would elaborate on the area that I hope to improve on when I talk about my action points below.

Below are my three key action points which I am going to work on over the course of my summer holidays:

1) As I would be on teacing internships in different colleges over the course of summer, I anticipate that there would be many meetings that I would need to attend and make notes out of. In general, I would attempt to use the Cornell Method to make notes for meetings and discussions over the course of the internship and assess the suitability of this method for myself.

2) On top of that, I would also employ the idea of using a mind-map as the overview of a topic and use linear notes to accompany it. I would view this as a quasi-content page. I would also explore the use of mind-map programmes and consider the use of it as an effective presentation tool over the course of my internships.

3) I would also start to consciously remind myself the different techniques I am applying in different contexts. For example, I would remind myself the purpose of reading any particular text and apply the appropriate technique. The aim is to minimise the time required to accomplish that particular task and hopefully this will become a habit which will go a long way in helping me sieve out necessary and important information using the shortest amount of time.

Thank you for your kind attention.

The workshop was conducted by Han-Na Cha on 18 Jun 2013.


May 02, 2013

P4: Final Follow–Up Entry

Follow-up to P4: Second Follow–Up Entry from Kang Yu Ng

After the Easter holidays, the next public speaking opportunity that came was at the Warwick Volunteers Training Weekend, which started on 26 April 2013. It was the first time that the new cohort of Exec and Project Leaders meet each other and plan the year ahead.

On my way to the training venue, I managed to speak with 3 Project Leaders and briefly shared with them what to expect in their role as Project Leader from my own experience. Frankly, having not done much group interaction since the Easter holidays, I must admit it took me quite some time to get the engines running again. I constantly reminded myself to keep those important points which I have put into practice over last term and not let it all go down the drain. Thankfully, as the conversation went on, I felt more at ease doing the sharing and talking. When the journey to the venue came to an end, I felt that it was fairly a job well done.

Since the weekend was conducted by the Office staff, I did not have many opportunities to speak to an audience per se. The one opportunity that came was when I conducted a part of the pub quiz. Being aware that I have to articulate properly to ensure that everyone understands me, I became rather nervous because of my asian accent. I went through, with my fellow Exec member, the pronunciation of a couple of words that I was unsure of for a peace of mind.

When my turn came, I reminded myself that I have to speak slowly and clearly so that everyone could catch what I was saying. I made sure that I made sufficient eye contact with the audience and scanned the audience to check if everyone was ready for the next question. Although I was requested to repeat one or two questions, I thought it went better than what I expected.

My thoughts over the course of this reflection experience are that it is really important to internalize all of these pointers into my interactions with people, and only that way, these will come natural to me. There is no shortcut to this process and I would have to be determined and patient to see the fruits of my effort.

Thank you very much Bev, for your kind guidance over the course of this period. I really appreciate it very much.


March 17, 2013

P4: Second Follow–Up Entry

Follow-up to P4: First Follow–Up Entry from Kang Yu Ng

About 3 weeks have passed since I have attended the workshop and I have been actively making sure that to put what I have learnt into practice. After being elected as the Vice-President of Warwick Volunteers, it opened up more opportunities to interact with people in a slightly more formal manner which are good platforms for me to practise effective communicative skills.

On Wednesday, I conducted the second workshop of a programme which I initiated, with the support of TeachFirst and Student Careers and Skills department. This workshop caters to Warwick Volunteers, involved in the Student Tutoring Project, who are interested in a career in teaching. I conducted the first workshop before I attended the P4 workshop. I remembered that it was a pretty nervy experience where I shared about my journey to settle on teaching as a future career. As an International student, my most striking concern was whether my accent could be understood. I managed to complete my presentation, however, with a lingering feeling of regret that it could have been better somehow.

I would think that I have a pretty long way since then and the second workshop was probably a good testament to that. Unlike the first workshop where I had to present, the second workshop consisted of presentations by 2 speakers whom I have invited. As a result, my task was basically to deliver a short introduction at the start of the workshop and a short speech to bring the programme to a close.

Unlike my preparations for the election, where I rehearsed repeatedly to ensure that I do not falter at the event itself, I saw the workshop as an opportunity to challenge myself to give a slightly more impromptu speech as there were no stakes on the line. I went through in my head with the couple of key points which I wanted to convey to the participants and a short introduction for both of the speakers. To my pleasant surprise, I was able to speak confidently and calmly to the audience and it left me pretty pleased. I think the element of calmness was missing in the first workshop and, in my opinion, is very important factor to convince your audience about whatever you are presenting. Otherwise, the audience might be distracted by your lack of composure instead of actually paying attention to the content that you are speaking about. My closing speech to conclude the programme proper went smoothly where I thanked the participants and speakers for their kind participation and contribution. In addition, I was also satisfied with my engagements in small talks with the speakers, sharing a good laugh or two in between.

Having such morale boosters over the past few weeks, I now have gained more confidence to engage with people in conversations and feel less nervous when I speak to an audience. I will write a concluding blog post in a week or two to consolidate my progress on my action points for the P4 workshop.

Thank you for your kind attention.


February 22, 2013

P4: First Follow–Up Entry

Follow-up to P4: Delivering Effective Presentations from Kang Yu Ng

I am glad to be able to share good news today! The Warwick Volunteers election was held yesterday and I was running for the position of Vice President and was successfully elected. I was required to present a 2-minute speech. After the workshop, I began structuring my speech with the help of the handout given. It was really helpful in terms of giving me directions to ensure that the essential content is included and that there is clear distinction between different parts of the speech.

Below is the speech that I presented:

Good Evening Everyone, my name is Kang Yu.

I am sure by now you would have read my manifesto and know what HELP stands for. Today, I am going to focus on the letters L and P to share more about myself, and convince you that I am suitable for the Vice-President role.

Firstly, Leadership. You may ask me, why not run for president? Am I not confident? No, of course that is not the case. The reason is because I am clear where my strength lies and being a public figure of a team is probably not one of them. I prefer to lead from behind the stage. Getting the essential logistical and administrative aspects done, and also, making sure that the team is cohesive and bonded. I believe I can provide the President with that essential support to direct the Exec, and together, put up a great performance for the Warwick Volunteers community.

Next, Passion. I have few passions, but I pursue them with great commitment. Teaching is one of them, and it came about because of my volunteering experience. This passion drove me to secure a teaching career even before the start of my undergraduate course. Since then, I have been actively participating in related activities to hone my skills so that I will be up to task when I embark on my teaching career. I can assure you that my passion for serving the Warwick Volunteers community will come with the same commitment.

I hope that my manifesto and speech have persuaded you that my humour, experience, leadership and passion will give the Exec an edge if given the opportunity to co-lead the team.

Finally, may I appeal to you to respond to my cry for HELP and vote for me as your next Vice-President.

Thank you very much.

I have also attached a copy of the Powerpoint presentation that I employed as visual aid.

I practised countless times before the presentation proper and am glad to say that I was able to complete the speech without being overwhelmed by my nerves. This has enhanced my confidence to conduct my upcoming workshop. I have also received good feedback yesterday about my speech and it could have well earned me a couple of votes there.

I will follow up on my second action point and I will update about my progress come Week 9 after the workshop is completed.

Election Powerpoint Presentation: election.pptx


February 20, 2013

P4: Delivering Effective Presentations

I have had a great time attending this workshop and I have gained new insights as to how to be more confident when it comes to public speaking. This workshop has brought to light how every part of myself is important when it comes to delivering a presentation. I have learnt how to maintain a good posture, amplifying my voice and look confident in front of the crowd.

The learning points yesterday would have to be applied quickly for my election speech coming up tomorrow and in the second session of a workshop course which I am conducting, coming up in Week 9. I have drafted the following action plan to see keep track of my progress after the workshop. Hopefully, by the end of the 4th blogpost, I would have internalised these learning points and become second nature to me.

Below are my action points which I hope to accomplish:

(1) For starters, I will make use of the handout, given during the workshop, to prepare myself for my 2-minutes speech at the Warwick Volunteers election tomorrow. I hope that I will be able to deliver the speech confidently and be able to subdue my nerves during the 2 minutes. I will also practise what I have learnt from the workshop to structure my speech and convince the audience that I am suitable for the role of vice-president.

(2) Next, I will review my performance during the election and sieve out the positive and negative points of my presentation. I will then work on improving the negative aspects and improve those which are positive for my conduct of the workshop in Week 9. I hope that I will perform better than the first session when my nerves did get the better of me as it was my first time conducting a workshop to an audience of multi-nationality.

(3) I will attempt to make a point to practise what was taught on a daily basis when I interact with people which I think would help to give a good first impression and enhance my self-considence. This is actually very important for my career as a teacher in the future. I hope that through this channel I can overcome my insecurities about myself and project a more-confident image to others.

Thank you for your time.

The workshop was conducted by Bev Walshe on 19 February 2013.


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