Public speaking used to be a nightmare to me. I have tried all means to avoid public speaking throughout my life. However, sometimes I just can’t escape from it. For example this time, I had to do a TED Talk for the ENGL 119 class.
I should have taken this course in my first or second year, but I kept postponing it because I knew I have to do a presentation for this course. Now I’m in my fourth year, I can’t postpone it further because I need to pass this course in order to graduate.
To my surprise, the TED Talk went well and I enjoyed the whole process.
I worked with three other teammates on the topic of “Insuring Driverless Cars”. As an actuarial student, I chose this topic because this was the only topic related to insurance and “Insuring driverless cars” was something that I’ve never heard of. It brought up my curiosity.
Interest is the best teacher. All four of us were truly interested in this topic. We were excited to do a presentation on this topic. Since “Insuring driverless cars” is a wide topic, we narrowed it down to four parts after we did some research. Each of us took the part that we were most interested in.
I took the most interesting part (well, at least for me, that’s the most interesting one) – The Future of the Insurance Industry. Before I dug deep into this topic, I was pretty confident about the insurance future. Why? Because I was being told that the insurance industry was, is and will be financially strong and stable. In fact, actuary is deemed as one of the best jobs in the world because of this! They never need to worry about losing their jobs in times of financial crisis because it won’t have big impact on insurance companies. And I believed it.
However, during my research, I found something contradicting to this belief. Car insurance business is likely to decline dramatically in the future because of the emergence of driverless cars. The insurance industry is aware of this, but they’re not taking any action to prevent this from happening. Are they confident about their ability to handle this change? Or is it because they know there’s nothing they can do to prevent it? I don’t know. I only know that I won’t consider about finding a job in the car insurance industry anymore.
Back to the group presentation, I think an important factor that contributed towards the success of our TED Talk was collaboration. At first, we brainstormed the ideas together. Then we split up the work by utilizing each member’s knowledge and experience. In the end, we compiled our work together. During our practice, we gave constructive feedbacks to each other and made adjustments accordingly. We also supported each other by sharing resources throughout the whole process.
Our group did an excellent job on the TED Talk (at least in my opinion), so did the other groups. I was surprised to see myself having such big improvements. Although I felt very nervous when I was presenting, I was able to deliver the message clearly to the audience for most of the time.
Overall, this is a special and memorable experience. Not only because I’ve learned some interesting knowledge, but also I’ve earned more confidence in public speaking. It’s no longer a nightmare to me. Woo hoo!