February 22, 2012

Follow–up on Delivering effective presentations

Workshop Tutor: Bev Walshe

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points


Hello Bev!

Thank you for your reply on my last blog.

Earlier this week, our group from Business Planning module had a presentation on our product. We were a group of 6 students, but we decided to have 2 presenters only. When preparing the presentation, I suggested creating a prezi presentation. Well, I wasn’t presenting, but at least I want to help them to create the whole concept so as to make the presentation more interesting and catchy. Interestingly, a colleague of mine who was presenting decided not to use prezi. He told me that it is easier for him to use the “conventional” PowerPoint presentation.

It reminded me of your last question regarding the drawbacks of prezi and I did some research on the internet on what people actually think about prezi. 

I personally prefer prezi over PowerPoint because I think it is user-friendly tool which helps you to make the audience engaged with your topic.

However, there certainly are some disadvantages: 

1.     There are different types of audience – especially when it comes to serious topics, or if there are more conservative listeners who might expect you to deliver a presentation in PPT.

2.     Prezi does not suit to everyone. The situation that happened in our group clearly demonstrates that not everyone is familiar or comfortable with prezi. Admittedly, people who have a problem with creating a structure of the presentation might find it difficult to use prezi. In such case, PPT presentation provides them with a clear and uniform structure in the form of slides. 

3.     PPT is also more user-friendly in terms of the cooperation with other softwares, such as Word or Excel.

4.     The quality of the presentation can undermine the value of the content. Or even worse, people can try to cover the lack of content with the beauty of prezi. – In such case, it is up to people to realize that prezi is only a tool – first aid kit for presenters.

To sum up, undoubtedly, there are more shortcomings to mention. What I have observed so far is that prezi offers a new, unconventional way of presenting. Also, it might look like people are dividing into two camps – Prezi vs. PPT. I think, it is practical to know how to use both and to learn, which tool is more suitable for which type of presentation.

Well, at the end, it is not about what is on the screen behind your back, but the content and delivery of the presentation is what matters. 

Dear Bev, I hope that I have covered all the things and action points from the beginning. Thank you very much for your valuable input and questions.

Kind regards


February 18, 2012

P9_Career Planning

Dear Fiona and Chris

First of all, I would like to thank both of you for creating such a beneficial workshop (was held on Friday, February 17). I found it very helpful and motivational.

Well, since I’m progressing towards Warwick Skills Portfolio Award, I have decided to include P9 into my blogging.

In the following post, I would like to set the action points I want to pursue in the next 4 weeks:

  1. Get my CV checked in the C&S Centre. I have already attended effective CV workshop, but it seems I was too bussy to take it further. It will be useful to do for my job and internship applications.
  2. Since November, I have been focusing too much on internships for the forthcoming summer. As a research tool, I used mainly myAdvantage website, Targetjobs, milkround, ratemyplacement, etc. So far, I have sent 17 applications – 6 of them already unsuccessful. In the slide regarding exploring, there were mentioned other websites, especially www.prospects.ac.uk and also the focus on sector pages. I am mainly interested in management consultancy, so I will do more research on smaller firms within that area. After the research, I will prepare the CV, adjust the current covering letter and approach them with my interest in internships.

These are the two goals I decided to set during the workshop. However I’m not sure about the mock interview. Should I make an appointment before sending the emails to potential consultancy firms, or it is better to wait for their replies?

Thank you very much for reading the blog and I’m looking forward to receiving your comments.

Kind regards

Follow–up on Working in a Group

Follow-up to Follow–up on Working in a team from Natalia's blog

Dear Trudy,

I know that I should wait for your reply to my last follow-up post. Well, I only would like to write down some of my thoughts on my progress that I have made so far since the start of the second term.

As mentioned in the last post, I’m currently involved in a business planning project which basically consists of a group of 6 people who have to come up with a new product/service or innovation. When establishing the group and dividing the responsibilities among the members, I have decided not to go for the leader position.

As advised in my Belbin feedback (referring to the citation in my previous blog), I stepped back and took on another position with different responsibilities. Basically I hold the position of a group consultant. Not a leader, not a manager, just covering behind-the-scene tasks and support.

Well, I have to admit that I found it quite interesting not to manage the group and set the goals, action plans, etc. Now I have the opportunity observe the behaviour of other people (which as usual you are not able to see due to being too engaged in step-by-step problems).

I actually caught myself thinking about what I would have done being on the leading position. Would I behave as he (the current leader) behaves? Is his style right or he did a mistake? Honestly, I have learnt far more than I would have if competing with him over the position.

As promised, I managed to find the roles within our group. I googled more information about Belbin system and its understanding of the roles within groups. As far as I can say, our 5 members and I, we definitely cover these roles:

1. Our leader: co-ordinator, shaper and specialist (in the field we have chosen for our business to operate in) – usually the one who brings the group together, set and clarify goals. However, when it comes to setting goals, he usually uses some kind of persuasive power in order to win over the others… a bit aggressive style.

2. Resource Investigator – talkative person who seems to be outside of our group, at least his mind always is.

3,4. 2X Teamworker – create positive environment during the meetings + implementers.

5. Monitor Evaluator – always has the right numbers to either support or reject the ideas.

6. and MIE: I would say Completer Finisher – usually get things done or at least show them the possible way.

Our group definitely lacks PLANT – which we felt during the early stage of planning, we were struggling to come up with ideas. It was really frustrating. But non of us was able to somehow adapt that role. I would say the whole group had to adapt it.

So, I hope I have covered all three action points, enjoy the reading and I look forward to your feedback so as to move to the final blog.

Kind regards


February 10, 2012

Follow–up on Emotional Inteligence

Writing about web page /ndobiasova/entry/p6_introduction_to/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

Hi Samantha,

Thank you for your post, to be honest, I have completely forgotten to write an update.

As far as my progress is concerned, well, let’s say the end of the term does not really help me with my goal – get work-life balance. However, I must say I started to run, I have run more than 40 km since our session. Even if I don’t have any particular schedule, I usually go for a run when I feel that I need a break, to reset my brain and clean my head out. Just me, my ipod, (cold weather), and 30 minutes of nothing :)

Regarding the podcasts, I have listened to one of the podcasts. Well, I think it is not for me, I found myself a bit impatient, I had a problem to calm down and actually relax. I know myself well, and I know how my mind work. And I think this won't help me.

Oh, and I will set the second action point:

2. to attend the workshop on time-management during this second term! Will be definitely useful for getting the balance!

What do you think Samantha? Do you have any other ideas which might help me with it?

Thanks for reading and all the best,

Follow–up on Working in a team

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points


Dear Trudy,

Apologies for not responding for such a long time. Since my last respond the time has flown so fast that I did not even realize the time gap between my posts.

Well, I was thinking about the action points. Interestingly, in the second term of the 1st year at wbs, we undertake a module called: Business Planning – Integrative Project. 400 students are divided into group of 6. Each group has to come up with a business idea, prepare business plan, blue print, presentation,etc.

I was thinking that I can use this module for my action points. To be more concrete:

1. I will read more about Belbin’s analysis of teams.

2. In our group sessions, I will make my own list of observations, I will try to categorize other people’s preferences so I will be able to identify the gaps which I can fill.

3. Our group has to choose a leader. I have noticed that in our group, there is another person – very dominant and proactive in terms of leadership. Due to the fact that I like to have control over the things (and I am usually the initiative one who motivates people), I will let him to take the leadership, so I can act as recommended in the Belbin’s profile summary which we were given during your workshop.

... “Remember there will be times when you cannot take the lead or take on a high profile role. So here you will need to discipline yourself. If you succeed in doing so, you will become more generally acceptable and will encounter fewer enemies.”

How does it sound to you? I think, it might be a useful excercise.

Thank you for reading Trudy and I will keep you posted with my progress!


Follow–up on Understanding your personality type

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points


Dear Mary
apologies for my late respond, but to be honest, it took me a while to think of the action points that I should set. 
I have read the descriptions of ISTJ and ESTJ personality types several times, and to be honest, I just can't lean to one or the other. However, in both potential areas for growth, I might have spot mine for improvement. 
So, here are my action points:
1. According to ISTJ, I find it difficult to trust anyone else, therefore I usually fail to delegate work when doing a project/work. It is actually true that sometimes I just don't let other people to a part of the work because I feel that I can do it better.
In this term, one of the module is Business Planning. We are divided into groups of 6 students. Colleague and I, we are let's say leaders of the team. Sometimes I find myself doing a bit more than other people. So from now on, I will be more strict on myself, I will pass some of the tasks to other people without thinking about the result. 
2. Also in ISTJ, such people are critical and judgmental of others. Partly true, I usually set high goals for myself and sometimes expect other people to meet the same level. Again, I will try to control myself in such situations - even if it is sometimes difficult :)
3. According to ESTJ, I sometimes give less attention to my intuition - I will try to act more spontaneously/to trust my intuition. Don't know exactly how to focus on this one, but will do my best!
So, I hope I covered it all. 
Thank you for reading Mary and will keep you posted!
Best regards,

Follow–up on Delivering effective presentations

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points


Dear Bev

Thank you for your entry, we finally managed to have it worked, somehow :)
Today, I would like to reflect a bit on my first entry. The presentation I was writing about was held on Monday.

When I was deciding how to prepare and structure the presentation and how to make it more interactive and enjoyable, I came across Prezi. I don’t know if you are familiar with prezi, but basically it is an interactive presentation with moving effects. I decided to use this type of presentation because I wanted to allow myself a bit more time between the slides and also I found it much more easier to have such presentation as an aid.

It really kept me more fluid with my thoughts. Interestingly, I actually new the steps and slides of the presentation better because I needed to prepare it, I actually played with the presentation. It is completely different from PowerPoint.

Here is the link if you are interested in:


So what I have done so far, and what I have learnt:

1. prezi definitely as a great tool for becoming more connected with the topic of the presentation

2. I started to work on the presentation 2 weeks ahead, so I had more time for thinking and being more creative.

3. I prepared the core text – outline, but I didn’t prepare any full sentences. And the text and thoughts I wanted to have said were just coming when I was making the prezi.

4. When the prezi was finished, I went through the presentation several times which helped me to remember the main points.

5. Also as you can see in the presentation, I did one interesting thing. The presentation is divided into three parts. Before each part, there is one slide with the overall picture, where you can actually switch from one topic to another. And also, great for thinking and keeping up with the outline.

As far as feedback is concerned, I received very positive reaction from the audience, there were also some questions regarding the event, but when I knew that the presentation went well, I was relaxed and actually enjoyed the interest from the audience. Also it was quite interesting to have questions from another presenters who were online – which was also a challenge because you never know what such an expert can ask you :)

Hope I haven’t forgotten any though I wanted to mention!

Thank you Bev for reading it and look forward to your respond.

Best wishes


December 01, 2011

P3_Portfolio_Working in a Team


in this blog I would like to reflect on a workshop from Warwick Skill Portfolio - P3 - Working in a Team, which was held by Trudy Hillier on November 16, 2011.

I am glad that I have attended this workshop because it was like a mirror in a some strange way. I was surprised how accurate the Belbin test which we were given on the Workshop was. Also I found it very useful for the future because now I'm looking at some things differently, especially when creating a picture about people. If I see someone to behave in a strange way, I ask myself a question - why is he doing this? And actually I realized that now I am trying to use Belbin system in such situations.

Here are listed the 9 team roles with my percentage:

PL - 100
RI - 0
CO - 28
SH - 58
ME - 10
TW - 0
IMP - 97
CF - 70
SP - 94

What really strikes me is the combination of my strong preferences, especially planner with implementer and specialist. Also two manageable roles are interesting - Co-ordinator (28) and Shaper (58).

Well, I was thinking about what to do with these information, how to use them in the future. When I had read the description of my profile, I realized that it really is accurate, especially the part about where I am most efficient and what part of the working process I enjoy most.

One particular question made me think:

How should I make the best out of my profile?

"... In you particular case, there is one area where you may need some help or support. You do not appear to be comfortable when taking orders from others. Remember there will be times when you cannot take the lead or take on a high profile role. So here you wll need to discipline yourself. If you succeed in doing so, you will become more generally acceptable and will encounter fewer enemies."

Well, I was thinking, what action point set according to this advice? I think in this sentence is a big truth and I will definitely have to work on it.

I don't know exactly how to set the goal, but let's say:

When it comes to project work, group work, or group discussions, I will try to analyze the types of all members, I will try to support such role that is missing within the team (especially those that are manageable - CO, SH) rather than taking the leading role.

I know that we are supposed to set three action points, but I just can't see any other. Trudy do you have any idea or suggestions?

Thank you for reading the blog and I'm looking forward to you respond.



P10_Portfolio_Understanding your personality type – MBTI


Yesterday, I attended a workshop from Warwick Skills Portfolio - Understanding your personality type - MBTI, which was held by Mary Sage.

As a part of the session we were given a questionnaire with 80 A/B questions about our preferences, feelings and actions.

The questionnaire focuses on four main parts:

Extrovert - Introvert
Sense - Intuition
Thinking - Feeling
Judging - Perceiving

As a result of my answers I am supposed to be ISTJ. However, after reading ISTJ and ESTJ description, I feel somehow uncomortable with ISTJ. Well, during the session and the excercise, I was also unsure whether to lean towards Extrovert or Introvert side.

After reading both of the description again thouroughly, I highlited those things that describes me. When I compared the ISTJ and ESTJ, I can say it is 1:1.

My question is, is it possible to be both extrovert and introvert?? It sounds a bit strange, isn't it?

And also Mary, what action points would you recommend me to set? Because I am somehow lost in my thoughts now.

Thank you for reading this and I'm looking forward to your respond.

Best wishes


November 18, 2011

P1_Portfolio FINAL ENTRY

Dear Samena

In this final entry, I would like to reflect on my recent experiences, thoughts and observations regarding my action points I have set few weeks ago.

Due to unintentionally deleting my first entry, unfortunately, I do not remember all three action points, I will try to summarize everything that pops in my mind now.

1. understanding my personality type and being more open to knew/unexpected situations

The very first workshop I attended was P1 – Skills Development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award. I attended this workshop on October 12 which I think was the best thing to do because during the workshop we were given The Learning Styles Questionnaire from which I found out a bit about myself, especially my learning style and my approach to task completion. I had very strong preference for REFLECTOR, which means that I am always focusing on details, I lean more towards listening than speaking in a group and what is more, I sometimes take too much time for thinking, which occasionally reminds me procrastinating.

This questionnaire helped me to realize my weaknesses, or let’s say those things that were calling for an improvement. To be more specific, I had decided to become more spontaneous and open to new things. This was the reason why I have attended a number of workshops from the portfolio such as Becoming More Assertive, Working in a Team and an Introduction to Emotional Inteligence, which I think helped me to better understand my personality type.

During the first few weeks in Warwick, I found this environment quite competitive. Many students for example speak more languages than I do, or they have already come across some of the topics from the modules we have. But now I know how to become a valuable member of the group when participating in seminars or groupworks. I understand that I need more time when thinking about something, or I need to evaluate all the information before making the right decission or saying my opinion. So now I am more proactive, I trust my skills and myself more, especially when working in a group.

2. working towards P1 skill portfolio and attend as many workshops as possible

Well, I have to say, I am quite good at this. But it has to be said that I am not doing this just for achieving the award. I do believe that these workshops and sessions, not only from myAdvantage, but also those run by Career Centre or external employers, offer something unique which cannot be found in my modules. I consider self-development as one of the most important things that the University of Warwick offer and which I want to take from it with me after my graduation.

So far, these workshops have provided me with a range of different skills and knowledge which I am planning to develop in the future because when it comes to finding an internship, year placement or graduate position, these soft skills are equally important as the knowledge gained during the studies – maybe even more!

To conclude, I am happy that I had a chance to attend P1 worksop at the very beginning of the year. I am sure that I would not have done such a progress without it!

Thank you Samena for for your opinions and quideline you gave me during the last 5 weeks.

All the best


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  • Hi Natalia, We were checking details for the WSPA certificates today and realised that you haven't w… by Han-na Cha on this entry
  • Hi Natalia, A full, reflective and detailed, excellent final entry on this workshop. It's good to re… by Han-na Cha on this entry
  • Dear Samena, Thank you for your comment. Finishing my WSPA is a great satisfaction for all the work … by on this entry
  • Dear Natalia A brilliant final blog entry for the WSPA, providing an honest reflection on your learn… by Samena Rashid on this entry
  • Hi Natalia, This is a really good summary of your action point, showing a detailed and reflective ap… by Han-na Cha on this entry

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