Saturday, 20 June 2015

Surviving College: Presentation Preparation

And I am back! Second day in a row. Take a minute to appreciate how much I am trying to earn back your support.

Well, let's get to it.

It is no secret that just over a week ago I managed to embarrass myself after one lousy performance that I talked about here. Rarely am I caught off guard in such situations so the whole episode was quite the wake up call. The saying goes that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Imma put my big girl pants on and admit the whole five minute from hell spectacle was all on me. Pinning the blame on somebody or something else will only land me in a pit of quick sand; stuck, struggling and ultimately sinking.

Whoo! Feels good to let that out, even better to see it documented. So what happens next? Pumping myself with a few pointers that will have me better prepared for future presentations and climbing out of the six feet under joint of humiliation that I have since embraced as home.

1. Early preparation. The moment you have your hands on your assignment, the work starts then. Procrastination can take several seats. Starting the process early has a number of perks, you can make several mistakes, identify these flaws, fix them and take a shot at being perfect.

2. Know your team. That is if you have a team but bare in mind that presentations rarely see you working solo. Identify  your partner(s) early enough this way you get to: divide the work fairly and accordingly, get the hang of each other and be each others judges. This way you have a couple of opinions and constructive criticism in due time.

3. Consistency. This would be in regards to knowing and understanding the assignment in question, individual and group oral practice, group meetings and individual and group reading, re-reading and understanding research findings.

4. Be thorough. Research on everything that could trigger a question. Now, I cannot stress enough  how important it is to read and re-read your research findings then understand them. Read. It. All. You do not want your own deer in headlights simulation similar to mine.

5. Language. If there is a way your audience is meant to be addressed, go through it from the get go. Have a mock audience and address them as you would the real audience. The more times you do, the faster and firmer it will stick.

6. Confidence. Project your voice, let it fill up the room. Dress the part. Put all the hours and hours of practice in to use, that moment depends on it. Relax, breathe, be sure of what you are saying and talk at a normal pace. This should have you managing curve balls thrown at you mighty well. Most importantly, remember you've got this in the bag.

These are just the few lessons I learnt from watching the OG's of the internal rounds do their thing and if it worked for them, they surely have to work for me and you, right?

Hmm, looks like I did take away something other than dire humiliation from the whole spectacle, Hopefully next time, I can put into practice what I have preached to you.

Have a good one!

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