This week I had a presentation that was very special to me for two reasons. First, it was my first academic presentation in graduate school, and second, it was my first academic presentation in English! Not surprisingly, I was nervous about it at the beginning, but the whole experience turned out to be both productive and enjoyable. Here are a few points I learnt through this experience:
1-Practice makes perfect fast!
I was given only eight minutes to present my slides. This was too short for twelve slides full of data and explanation. I reduced the number of slides to eight, but still it was too much. I was reluctant to eliminate interesting data and did not want to chop my presentation. I was merely frustrated and did not know what to do. But then suddenly I discovered a magical reverse correlation between the presentation time and the number of times you practice presenting the material. I started with ten minutes, but each time I practiced, my presentation time came down and down till I reached seven minutes on my last try! The reason behind it, was the fact that I did not have to look at data, look for words and make sentences in my mind. Everything was there in my mind, ready to be presented. By the way, we found out we have five! minutes each and not eight, so maybe I had to practice it a few times more.
2- Practice Feedback makes perfect!
Getting feedbacks was one of the best and most instructive parts of these class presentations. We had all the feedbacks soon after the class, when our memories were fresh and we could easily assess our performances. It was nice to see even the slightest lack of harmony in colors was seen and noticed. This shows while making our presentations, we have to consider our audience very smart and critical. We should aim for nothing but perfection.
3-Practice makes tweets perfect!
To me social media was mostly a platform for informal communications. This project was an opportunity to change this view. We had to use twitter to choose our team and then organize our teamwork. Communication on twitter is fast and flexible and this makes it perfect for coordinating a team and giving and taking feedbacks. Ease of communications on these platforms, let team members collaborates while each of them works remotely and individually. This makes social media perfect for teamwork and collaborations.
Let’s see what’s coming up for next presentation and what I will learn from it!