All entries for Thursday 26 July 2012

July 26, 2012

Follow–up 3: The final academic presentation and nearing to career presentations

Follow-up to Follow–Up 2: Presenting With Confidence from Melvin's blog

This update focuses on my last action point; accommodating it in preparation and the pros and cons faced. My last and final action point to tackle was as follows:

Practise is also another point ( few sessions with loud presentations in front of the mirror or other people, as similar conditions as possible to the real thing)

Today was my final presentation for this MSc at Warwick, my final opportunity to implement everything I learnt, whilst also tackling my last and most ignored action point ‘PRACTICE IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR’. For this preparation was focussed on a lot, as the professor was quite specific about the way he approached presentations. This presentation was a confidence filled one, thanks to previous ones where being assertive whilst presenting produced good results. I must say all of the approaches and techniques I have learnt are beginning to become a second nature to me whilst presenting.

All the aspects of VOICE, ITONATION and PHYSICAL STANCE were all implemented smoothly. There was however a point where my throat ran dry. However, I was ready for this as I had a glass of water at hand. So, as I realised my throat was running dry a slight nervousness did set in. Seeing that this was occurring I used ‘ITONATION’ to set apart an important aspect of the pace ‘ The biggest advantage is there is complete collaboration without any conflicts’. Following emphasis on this aspect I created a pause to let the point to be emphasised, whilst also taking a quick sip of water. Thus tackling the issue smoothly.

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Now specifically talking about the last action point of ‘PRACTICING IN FRONT OF MIRROR’, I realise that more I did that more I became nervous. I tried standing in front of the mirror and presenting, however somehow it made me more self conscious. I tried practicing with a group of friends and the result was the same. What I realised was, more I did an official practise session, ie. By standing up in front of everyone, more I became nervous. However, by doing a less official practise runs, that is when music running in the background or even talking whilst in the shower works better J.

Personally I thought this was strange, but is something that works for me. When I think of a presentation in a more relaxed setting, as a performance rather than an serious assessment, I perform much better. So, in the case of this presentation I practised thoroughly, however with music playing or whilst working out in the gym. One thing I definitely do is make sure I see and know the place where I am presenting beforehand. Additionally, whilst practicing I do picture myself there, though only once or twice. Another excellent lesson I learnt is the art of making nervousness a weapon in my arsenal. By seeing the nervousness as a precursor to success ( I’m not sure how to put this into words, but seeing the nervousness as an energy to perform well; as in the case of a boxing match seeing nervousness as a feeling that you can do anything). It is a sort of self motivational technique to put myself in the mindset to perform to the best. Overall the presentation turned out to be really good with the professor actually telling us in person that he loved out presentation and also hinted at a possible ‘Distinction’.
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I must say even though the last action point was not literally suited to me and probably might be suitable for others, modifying and still suiting the practice session for individual needs and situation is vital. Thus is the end of academic presentations and begins the wait for corporate presentations to come.

My drive to presentation is seeing it as a performance, not an aural communication of words but an art in teaching, entertaining and interactively involving the audience. The famous words of John McTiernan (American film director & Producer) “The entertainment is in the presentation” is a view I implement to present with drive and confidence.


Kind regards

Melvin

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