I believe some of you have the same doubt as I have but feel embarrassed to say it. When it was my first time to hear the term “TED Talks“, a question mark appeared in my mind: “what kind of talk will be named after a teddy bear?” I’m very appreciated to ENGL119 for dragging me back from imagination and becoming that “TED” to spread big ideas.
A successful group presentation must have two elements to begin with: topic and team. Choosing a topic that interests you most and connects to your personal experience can be a tough process, especially when you are given a list of good topics. I was struggling to select the top choice between two options: “Coding as a Second Language” or “Insuring Driverless Cars”. Should I choose the one corresponding to my major field of study or the one attracts me more? Finally, I decided to follow my passion about driverless cars. When it’s time to meet up with my team, the only word I could think of to describe that moment is magic! There is no need to search for them at all because they were just sitting beside me all the time on the exact same table. Therefore, we skipped the introduction about ourselves and directly proceeded to the next mission: brainstorm. As a big fan of movie “The Fast and the Furious“, I couldn’t find a reason to refuse it as our team name. If you enjoy cars and action movies, I highly recommend these firm series though they never pay me a toonie as advertising fee. Now, five of us begin our racing game.
Group presentation is actually a racing game that we use strategies to be outstanding over our competitors. What is our secret to master a successful speech?
- Tell Stories – To avoid our presentation becoming a cradle song, we made effort to share emotional and touchable stories to our audience. Even though I couldn’t guarantee my stories have happy endings, I wanted my listeners to learn the positive lessons from tragic endings. In addition, I want to mention that my colleague did a very good job on proving the existing risk of hack by referring to a movie plot in The Fate of the Furious.
- Engage Audience – For the rehearsal, we hesitated to interact with our audience because we were scared to end up with embarrassing atmosphere and run out of time. Through observations of how our peers managed to add engagement, I noticed that the most effective engagement is “hands-up” question and that’s what we have improved in our final presentation.
- Write Transitions – Every time we switched the speaking role into the next member, our speech always included a coordinated transition that briefly introduced the next presenter’s name and argument. If I was the next member, I would say “thank you” to my colleague whoever introduced me.
- Pay Attention – Not only to be responsible for our own parts, but also pay attention to what the other team members talked about. After the rehearsal, the instructor informed me and my colleague that there was internal conflict between our speech because we claimed a completely opposite point of view. Then I realized the way I expressed that opinion could cause confusion and misunderstanding. Good catch!
Combining all these components, we confidently stood in front of the whole class and loudly sent our messages to every audience. The moment I switched into a listening role, all I felt is a taste of liberation and I enjoyed that.
I have to admit that every team performed well in the short 20 minutes! Congratulations to the Code Monkeys team as the most impressive presentation for me since I am one of the monkeys. Some friends may not buy the joke why we call programmers code monkeys. You will understand once you know “programmer” in Chinese. Another reason I like this presentation is how they presented the necessity of coding by explaining what level of program each generation should learn.
Overall, time for celebrations class!
Or maybe not yet…… second midterms are coming……at least for me……