Preparing the power point presentation and the presentation itself was a big challenge, partly due to the challenge of compressing the content into something I can present in a few minutes, and partly because of the stage fright we all experience when speaking before a big and formal audience.
PowerPoint Presentation-Creation Process Experience
- The presentation creation taught me a big lesson in regards to the different between writing for a reading audience and writing for a listening audience. Writing for a reading audience is, to me, stress free as the target audience has complete control on how to interact with the content in terms of interpretation and how to respond to arising questions. However, this is different for a listening audience who expect immediate response from the author, such as by asking questions that must be responded to.
- In this regard, a live presentation is to a large extent a conversational interaction between the speaker and the audience. With this knowledge in mind, I was anxious on how I framed my presentation because I was aware I will not only have to present it to a live audience, but also anticipate and be prepared to respond to any questions that the audience might have. As a result, I was more aware and conscious of what I was writing because I was also imagining being in front of an audience.
- I found the presentation itself quite challenging not only due to the natural tensing that one experiences, but also because I was aware that the focus is on, and I am expected to deliver something worth listening to. At the same time, I was acutely aware that I will be judged by my peers in regards to whether I met their expectations in terms of being audible enough, coherent and articulate. It was a test of my public speaking skills, whereby I was not only expected to attract and sustain the audience’s interest, but also to share information that they will find useful.
- Finally, I think that presenting in class goes a long way not just in boosting one’s confidence, but also increasing one’s sense of self-efficacy. Moments before the presentation I had doubts on whether I can do this as effectively as possible, but the experience of going through several minutes of attention being focused on me gave me confidence because I became aware that everyone was interested on what I was saying. Conversely, it taught me the importance of listening as it gives the speaker the confidence to speak out freely without inhibitions.
Lesson Learned Out of Presentation Creation
Yet, despite the best of preparation I learned that one can still encounter problems, such as forgetting some points and needing to look at the notes to remember. Two lessons I learned from this experience is that one should practice before the actual presentation. This will enable them to gain confidence and have their act together before facing a real audience. Next time I will rehearse by talking to an imaginary audience in my room, which will help me to practice how I will elaborate the points.
The second lesson is that one should make notes in the form of bullet points, which will enable them to make their presentation in a logical and lively way. Having compete notes could be boring to the audience as it is akin to reading a text instead of engaging the audience in a lively interaction.