Tuesday, 4 March 2008

reflection on presentation

On Friday, I gave a presentation on my Bach fugue project to the members of the Advanced Technical Communications course.

I found this presentation quite tricky to prepare, as in ten minutes I had to explain the problem I was addressing (quite a specialised musicological problem) and the solution I implemented - I left out so much detail that I would have loved to put in! but had to be ruthless.

I think the presentation went quite well overall. I was very worried about the fact that I wanted to use sound in my presentation, but although I got there quite early to try out several versions of my presentation (I nearly resorted to using the backup of the backup of the backup of the backup plan!) I still kept people waiting a little at the beginning of the session while I got Eric to help me set the sound up on the PC we were using. Lessons learnt - its not enough to be there early - if I don't know how to do something, I need to be much more forceful in asking for help setting things up, and not be afraid to admit that I don't know how to fix things.

Overall I think the presentation went ok, and I think I managed to convey what I was trying to do, and how successful my work had been to that point. There are always points to improve upon, and I picked up a few tips watching others - Geoff's air of complete knowledge and authority in what he was talking about, Maria's engaging with the audience during the talk by asking them questions, Chris's demo half way through his talk which was short but exciting to watch and the way that Gareth looked around the whole audience while he talked, not just a random focal point in the group, and how he talked very deliberately and a little slower than he normally talked.

I've enrolled for an Oral presentation skills course which is on next week - I wish it had been on before this presentation! But seeing as I have a couple of talks coming up to give at Edinburgh uni and the conference in Greece (and perhaps one at Warwick uni), I think I'm going to have plenty of opportunity for practice...

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