When I look back on my academic group presentation and
preparation, I was surprised at what I have learned from this portfolio task. Working
as a team at the university is often challenging. Teamwork plays a key role and learning
how to work well with others is extremely important for anyone achieving a
common goal, where we are all here to pass our task. Before being allocated into
groups, my first concern is whether I’ll work with a group of people that I don’t
know. Fortunately, our group wasn’t randomly assigned, we’re able to form the
group with our own wishes.
Before we started the first official meeting, we really didn’t
know the amount of time and work that would go into preparing for a
presentation. We thought we could finish it in 30 minutes and practice it once
and be ready to present it. We found out that this isn’t the case if we want to
make a good presentation.
During the first meeting, it took us some time to find an
empty classroom and we didn’t expect it to happen. Probably because it was the
first meeting, I felt we was wasting lots of time and loss of focus on preparation.
Then, we took nearly 15 minutes to decide
who was going to do the introduction, main body and the conclusion. We spent
another 45 minutes to decide what information was going to put on each slide as
the slides contained only key bullet points. We tried to avoid putting
everything we wanted to say on the slides, because this basically tells the audience
to read off the slides and stop listening to you.
When we got together again, those slides were mainly completed.
We placed some animation effects and nice relevant picture on the slides to make
it more interesting to the audience. During the second meeting, we started to
note down what we were going to say. One of the main things my team did was
working well together. We told each
other’s the strengths and the weaknesses to improve our slides. Especially me, I definitely got a lot of help from
my teammates, which I’m very grateful. We also rehearsed about 5 times in a
row. During the rehearsal, I have got
butterflies in my stomach and my body was shaking because I have always
felt this way when speaking in front of a group of people. I felt I was under-pressure
because I was worried I will lower the quality of the group presentation,
especially as English is not my first language. But my teammates were very
understanding me, which made me feel slightly relieved. Another problem with
the second meeting was that one of the members didn’t show up and the other
member only wanted to stay for 30 minutes in our 2 hours meeting, which isn’t
helpful when we tried to do the practice.
In our last meeting, we’re purely rehearsing the speeches
for two hours. We all attached great importance to this presentation. Everyone turned
up to the meeting and we’re able to timed ourselves. Turned out, our speeches were
less than 15 minutes, therefore, we extended the length of our speeches by slowing
down and expanded the information. Despite the problems, our meeting went very smoothly.
On that presentation day, I gave a presentation summarising
the two articles as well as comparing them. Although we rehearsed many times,
but I was still very nervous. When I was presenting, I made sure that I made
enough eye contact with the audience as I wanted them to feel involved at all
times. I also made myself notes to look at to help deliver the presentation.
After we presented, I felt relieved. However, I began to
question myself. Did I do best? Did I over rely on my notes? From the feedback,
I have been given were all positive and I got 100%, we did a great job and
shown our team work. The length of our presentation did go over 15 minutes, which
is good. Overall, our group presentation went well, but I am able identify weakness
which could have been improved.
The delivery of my presentation could have been better. During
the presentation, I tried to slow down my pace and as a result, I forgot what I
was saying. As a result, there were a few pauses when I forgot what to say. I
think that nervousness can only solve with experience and practice makes
perfect. My voice could have been louder and more natural.
I felt this presentation helped me because I was able to
improve on my weakness which was my presentation skills and this allowed me to
improve my future presentation. I’ll make sure that if I seem to find preparing
a presentation a struggle, I’ll contact my module leader and attend workshop to
gather the skills that required to improve my presentation.