Effective Seminar Participation (P5)
I attended this seminar in order to work on my first action plan that I made from my CORE skills workshop:
1. My first key skill which I wish to develop is my assertiveness and communication. Currently I find it hard to bring my opinions and viewpoints forward in seminars and have the confidence to voice my research and ideas. To begin my process I will firstly attend the Undergraduates - Effective Seminar Participation (P5). By attending this I hope to gain pointers in how to organise my thoughts and communicate them effectively and confidently to others. To measure my progress I will try and participate more in seminars and put more points forward week after week.
This workshop helped me to understand a little more about how my body language and behaviour can affect the behaviour of others around me. Part of communicating my thoughts effectively starts from the offset when I enter the room and commerce with my peers. One point that our workshop leader, Bev, discussed with us was that simple communications skills such as smiling and talking with peers in an informal mannar can help build confidence when it comes to presenting ideas.
I am going to base my first action point on this idea. I hope to get to know my fellow students who are in each of my seminar groups and to open up a little bit more towards them in order to be confident when putting my ideas forward. Through my body language I want to appear confident and open,as well as letting others know I am approachable, I also hope this will help me to activly listen to others and get more out of my seminars.
Further elements of this workshop also helped to give me an idea of how to communicate with my peers and invite them to join in the discussions and share their opinions. Simply asking others to contribute directly and use phrases such as “what do you think about that..” means that I am actively seeking their input into the discussion.
Thus my second action point will be to directly ask my peers to debate my points and ask for their opinion on the subject. Whilst this may seem like a small change I feel it will enable me to gleen more information from my peers and make my overall seminar experience more productive.
On the idea of having a productive seminar, which is something which will futher enhance my academic learning, I want to discuss with my seminar tutor how to perhaps structure the seminar in order to gain the most from it.
Therefore, my third and final action point is to talk to my tutor and discuss ways of encouraging more participation from myself and my peers. Also to discuss how to structure the sharing of ideas perhaps with smaller group presentations or deligating certain areas of the reading to certain people so collectively we can report back the information we learnt.
Overall the workshop gave me confidence in myself and taught me that even if I’m not feeling confident on the inside that I can still show, through my body language, confidence and assertiveness which will help me to gain the best from my seminars.
To summarise my three action points are:
1. Incorporate the body language learnt to actively listen
2. Use the language cues and invite others to discuss points raised
3. Finally I will discuss with my seminar tutor how to remodel the structure of our seminar to gain maximum productivity.