Normally, when the teacher announces that presentations will need to be given, a collective groan rolls around the classroom like a mexican wave but would it be odd to say that I tend to secretly look forward to them?
No, I am not an accomplished public speaker who charges a couple thousand pounds for a thirty minute speech but I simply look forward to the challenge of talking in front of people and presenting information in a clear way. The funny thing is, I would not describe myself as an extrovert and have been described as ‘the quiet one.’ So is my secret ‘passion’ for public speaking weird?
When I had to talk for a few minutes at the local museum about a documentary our youth group had made, I was excited as well as nervous. The funny thing with presentations though is that the advice given most often is the one that is usually ignored. Make sure your PowerPoint slides contains very little text! I think people this little helpful tip the wrong way around, especially judging by the deluge of text we receive during classroom presentations.
However, when you take away the text and stop reading off the board, that is when presentations or speeches become fun. It is then that your skills are sharpened and you grow more confident in your own abilities. In fact, during a weekly seminar as part of a humanities programme last year, the Oxford Professor surprised my group on the first session by declaring power points are banned. Instead, we had to address the audience directly and convey to them information in a way which they could easily understand just by listening to your words. Although it was scary at the time, you can see the wisdom in such a move.
Of course, this does not mean power points are terrible, I just think that they should be limited when it comes to students delivering a speech as Power Point simply becomes a copy and paste job which leads to a dreary presentation! The art of using Power Point or any other such program effectively has to be learnt and developed but it can only be once a person is confident in his or her own ability to talk without any tools or aids.
Personally, I am pretty sure I will have many presentations to look forward to over the next three years at university! Perhaps then my opinon may change on them and instead of that thrill of excitement, I may just feel a shiver of exhaustion. If you’re a university student who’s had to work on countless group projects, you may just think I’m crazy.
Until Next Time
A Worried Student