In our topic Presenting with an Impact, we discussed how to improve & deliver impactful presentations, as well as learning how to critique, giving and receiving feedback.
Tension & Worries
Presenting in front of many people has always been a struggle for me, especially since I started university. Even though I know the whole context of my presentation, just thinking about speaking and interacting with the audience makes me shiver out of nervousness. I noticed from myself that I think too much of the result rather than finishing the task first.
Thinking back in my first two years of university, I recalled crying before the presentation, but then delivering it better than expected. I also remembered the struggle of having words jumble in my mind that when it translates to words I just stutter and lose focus of what I need to present. Comparing that to the presentation that we just recently conducted, there were bits and pieces of the past that were displayed. For example, I was feeling calm while preparing but actually felt like crying as I walk towards the board in front of many people to discuss my presentation, moreover talking about something personal about me. I was also talking quite fast because I felt like I need to finish within the three-minute time limit.
Changes & Improvements
Although looking back at my past presentations, compared to the one we just recently had, I know that I improved because I gained more confidence than before. Another significant change that I noticed was that my eyes can look at everyone in the room and not quiver, considering that back in the day I would always just focus on one person because it feels more comfortable. One of the issues that I faced that I think could be improved or changed as I progress, would be speaking in a rushed way, and pausing before continuing. I would say that was quite a challenge, due to the fact that Ms. Alyson has mentioned that I was indeed talking fast, at the same time I felt like my throat was drying up and it was hard to continue. Licensed psychologist Craig N. Sawchuk gave some points on how to overcome the fear of public speaking and one that I think can help me would be doing some breathing exercise, as it can help calm down the nerves (Craig N. Sawchuk, 2017). This concept actually supports my struggle in speaking fast. According to Bruna Martinuzzi, pauses are your ally (Martinuzzi, 2018). It will not only help me breathe some air, but also it can help deliver my points in a much clearer way.
Having experienced getting feedback from our instructor and the whole class, it gave me more idea of the things I need to alter in my future presentations, and also the positive points that I should continue doing this academic year, and at the workplace in the future. Additionally, the learnings from the lesson can help shape the way we make and present in the future. Most importantly, critiquing others helped me be more observant and to be more attentive to the person speaking in front. In the future, I will make sure to apply all these things that I have learned from presenting, down to critiquing others by noting down while others are presenting, and practicing before the presentation day, and reviewing if I was able to adhere to the learnings I gained. I would also make sure to ask for assistance from my colleagues whenever I feel like what I’m doing is not accurate. Lastly, this is beneficial to my future career because it will require me to be confident to present to clients and deliver the presentation.
Craig N. Sawchuk, P. L., 2017. Fear of public speaking: How can I overcome it?. [Online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/specific-phobias/expert-answers/fear-of-public-speaking/faq-20058416 [Accessed 20 April 2021].
Martinuzzi, B., 2018. Slow Down: Why Speaking Too Fast Can Hurt Your Message. [Online] Available at: https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/business/trends-and-insights/articles/slow-down-why-speaking-too-fast-can-hurt-your-message/ [Accessed 20 April 2021].