Posted by: andreaheyse | May 12, 2009

Final panel presentations:

Initially I was pretty excited to give my final panel presentation because 1.) I was pumped to share my research which I found to be pretty intriguing and 2.) I’m pretty comfortable in front of a crowd, except when its in an academic setting where I tend to be a bit nervous so I thought it would be a great way to practice sharing my ideas to a crowd I was pretty sure would be receptive to it. 

In preparing my “script” for the presentation, I basically just went through my whole paper and tried to pull out what I thought would be the most important aspects to share in a coherent way. It was tough though because really, I could only say about 6 pages worth of material taken from a 25 page paper. I remember thinking to myself, how do authors of entire books do presentations like this if I’m having trouble pairing it down from just a paper. Once I had the script down, it was just a matter of putting together powerpoint slides and bing bang boom, I was ready to go! 

Like I mentioned earlier, presenting my thoughts in an academic setting tends to make me a bit nervous, no matter how much of a people person I am outside of class (hence why you rarely heard my voice during the course of the seminar). After the presentations though, the positive feedback on my research and personal ideas was pretty great. I even had a friend tell me that someone told him about my presentation a couple days later. Who would have thought! Not me, thats for sure. So I guess, I’m learning (better late than never) that I can open my mouth in that setting and I do have something to say.

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Responses

  1. Andrea,

    I’m so glad you had a positive experience with the final panel presentations. Over the course of this year I’ve found that when you did speak up, it was engaging and insightful. So I guess my hope for you is that you walk away from this experience with greater confidence and awareness that your opinions significantly contribute to deepening the level of conversation and offer everyone else the opportunity to learn from you (I know I did).

    As for the presentations – I really enjoyed speaking in front of a crowd. I just wish I could have been challenged a bit more. I fully expected a controversy (because what I had to say was pretty controversial) and nothing! Not even one little spar. Haha, oh well; it was sill a fun experience!

  2. Andrea, I definitely can relate to your nervousness in front of an academic setting. Usually, I absolutely love speaking in front of a crowd and talking to people in general. However, in an academic I too tend to kind of “clam up” and lose my confidence. Still, I found the panel presentations to aide in decreasing my sense of self-consciousness in this area of my life. My panel DID in fact receive a few controversial questions, which made me a bit nervous, but I think as a team, we all handled them quite well. Either way, I really enjoyed sharing what I had learned throughout the semester in a public format. Still, one of the most difficult tasks was cutting down my paper to ten minutes! I spent way too much time in front of my computer making decisions on which parts to cut out. I thought most parts were important, so it was really difficult for me to get rid of some of them. Still, its funny how you can cut so much of your paper out and still get your point across. I was proud of myself not only for being able to make my presentation in exactly ten minutes, but also for being able to share my ideas in an academic setting too.

  3. I agree completely with what you have said about speaking in front of an academic crowd. I also was nervous as I am still not comfortable with how much I have actually retained and understood in my four years of theological studies. I also had trouble cutting my paper down to a workable length for a presentation. While that was troublesome for me, I believe that the feedback in the run through and the sections I developed helped me a little bit. Another aspect of the crowd besides being an academic crowd that made me a little nervous was the amount of friends in the audience who had previously never heard me speak in such an academic manner. While knowing they were there for support that was still an unsettling aspect for me as well.


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