Does the world really need presentations in our lives?
I ask myself this question several times a day before a big presentation is due. Although I know the answer is yes, I like to fool myself into believing that it’s not such a big deal. This method somewhat worked throughout high school, and I was confident that I would never need it again.
As someone who’s rather shy and would prefer to not draw attention to myself, I was so relieved to finally be done with high school. No more cringe-inducing presentations that made me want to never speak again!
Then university came and was just like
(Transcript in case you’re not good at reading lips: “NO, NOO!”)
I learned very quickly that I’ll never be able to escape giving presentations, regardless of what faculty I join (who knew you had to give presentations in the math faculty?).
The TED Talk
We were given the assignment of preparing a TED talk to present to the class as soon as we walked into the first class of ENGL 119. At the time, I wasn’t too worried, as June seemed like a long time away. As the days got closer, I started to worry more and more about how I was going to survive this task.
I’ve always liked watching TED talks, and one of the reason for this is because I enjoy watching confident, engaging speakers present (makes up for my lack of charisma (?)). I knew that I could never achieve the level of perfection that they were able to put into their talks, with their audience-engagement and lack of fear.
However, it still needed to be done, and so I was put into a group that would be discussing financial literacy for millennials. This seemed easy enough, as it was a straightforward topic in a field I was comfortable in. I felt myself getting more optimistic, hopeful that I could get through this presentation without embarrassing myself or my group members.
Eventually, I was able to prepare my slides and script to a point in which I was comfortable enough to bring them to present to the class. Now you might be thinking “That’s great, you probably did well!”.
Fortunately, my group members were more than proficient enough to carry me through the presentation, allowing me to not be too embarrassed. By the end of the presentation, I couldn’t have cared less about my mark; I just wanted to get away from the “stage” and get back to my seat where I could blend in with the background.
Thankfully, I don’t think there’s another oral presentation scheduled this term.
The Other TED Talks
Even though my section of the TED talk didn’t go too well, there were a lot of other groups’ presentations that I found to be very interesting.
In particular, I found the Coding as a Second Language group’s topic and presentation to be rather eye-opening and engaging.
The group talked about possibly introducing coding as a potential course for students in Canada from Kindergarten to Grade 12. This is something that I’ve thought about a lot, partly because I’m in a program partly dedicated to computer science, but mostly because of my younger brother.
My younger brother is someone who is very interested in programming, and has been since he was around 6 years old. He was introduced to Java in grade one when my father was trying to teach me how to program, and quickly fell in love with coding. By the time he was 10, he was making programs and mobile applications that I could only dream of ever making. Right now, at the age of 14, with no official programming classes, he’s much better at programming than his older brother who’s enrolled in a computer science program at one of the best computer science universities in the world.
Imagine what would have happened if my dad didn’t try to teach me Java back then.
Trudeau, if for some reason you happen to read my blog, please implement this.