Can I get a show of hands of people who hate group presentations?
I thought that I would never have to do a group presentation after I have graduated from high school! I guess I was wrong…
Why I hate group presentations:
- Being paired up with people that I have no idea if they would cooperate/ contribute
- Putting in time to do research
- Memorizing my lines
- Dressing up
- Meeting up with my group to do rehearsals
As you can see from this list, I am just a lazy person who doesn’t like to put time and effort into things. However, as my mark for ENGL119 heavily depended on a group TED talk presentation, I had no choice but to stop being lazy.
High School Group Presentations
To be honest, I actually like group presentations. They are very fun and I really enjoy presenting in front of an audience.
Throughout high school, I have had good experiences and also bad experiences with group presentations. Let me show you an example of each:
One bad experience
I was in a group of 3 where I did at least 75% of the work, and my group members were MIA (missing in action) half the time. Furthermore, I believe that we should have received a perfect grade for the presentation. However, the teacher forgot to circle one criteria on the rubric. When I talked to him about it, he said oh “My bad”, and just circled a random one… without any justification. I was not happy at all, but I saw no point in arguing further.
A good experience
For french class, in high school, we read a book called “Le Petit Prince” (Yes, it was in french) https://www.thelittleprince.com/, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This book was a very enjoyable read and it had many deep meanings hidden within the text. I would totally recommend it! (There is an english translated version). In this class, we were required to create a new scene in the book ( in French) and also present it to the class. I had a lot of fun making up the script and I also enjoyed working together with my classmates.
I feel that our TED talk went really well given that we did not get a lot of time to prepare. As we all had our own lives and commitments, we made time to meet up and rehearse together. As we rehearsed, we criticized each other’s parts and also questioned why we did certain things. This helped us formulate and remove many unnecessary information that did not focus on our topic. I learned that in order to give a great group presentation, the team must work together and collaborate to build each other up.
Moreover, it was great that the instructor for the course gave us a ghost mark and feedback before our final presentation. This really helped us realize that we needed more statistics and facts in our presentation. In addition, it also helped us cut down on information to keep our presentation more focused and concise.
Presentations by my peers
The talks done by my peers in class were great! I feel that every group put a lot of effort into their research and also making their slides appealing. I found it interesting how every group had a clever introduction to intrigue the audience, and also an open ended conclusion to leave the audience thinking further into their topic.
I really enjoyed the presentation on Financial Literacy. It taught me a lot about money in a short period of time. I don’t usually set a budget for myself. I like to live life spontaneously and I also love to treat myself! However, I should start budgeting my money and stop spending way more money than I should be.
I will keep these lessons in mind when I spend money. In addition, I will also begin to consider creating an emergency fund for the unexpected events of tomorrow.
What I learned from TED speakers
From the TED speakers, I picked up a transitional phrase: “let me show you what I mean”, from this TED talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/joy_buolamwini_how_i_m_fighting_bias_in_algorithms, by Joy Buolamwini. I feel that this phrase is very useful for guiding the audience to the facts/ examples that back up a point. In addition, I also learned that slides on a slideshow should not be packed with text. Rather, it should be concise and be used as a support to the presentation.
Furthermore, body language is huge in presentations! Hand movements, and keeping our body straight gives off a stronger vibe. In fact, practicing power stances before a presentation helps boost one’s confidence and also makes them feel more powerful. (http://blog.ted.com/10-examples-of-how-power-posing-can-work-to-boost-your-confidence/)
Before my presentation, I spent a few minutes doing victory stances to help boost my confidence and make myself feel ready to kill the presentation ( in a positive way). These stances helped me appear more confident and it also helped me clear my mind.
All in all, this assignment helped me get to know my peers in class better and it also helped me develop my collaboration skills. I have also learned different things from the TED talks done by my peers. For example, I never thought that sports actually used mathematics, specifically for drafting players.
Anyways, I’d like to thank my group for being fantastic team members and I would also like to thank my peers for their wonderful presentations!