The Students’ Speech

It was the not-so Canadian spring of May. I logged into my Waterloo Learn to see the syllabus of each course I was taking for this term. I scrolled through happily since the grading scheme was similar as always UNTIL I saw TED talk listed as first major assignment in ENGL 119.

I thought to myself, “Wait, this can’t be serious. Is this the TED talk I’m thinking about?”. Yes, unfortunately, it was. I was nervous and scared because I haven’t done formal presentation since grade 10.

blog_post2_kings_speech_meme(You should really watch The King’s Speech if you haven’t)

Time was not on my side as the TED talk week came quickly. My friend and I were assigned into group of 5 students who shared similar interest: “Coding as a Second Language”. On our first day of group meeting, we first introduced ourselves to each other in order to break the ice, but it brought greater silence (Our professor came and told us that we were too quiet).

As I looked around the room, I realized that many groups were engaged in their talk, some were even in groups of friends. This awkwardness had to break. So, I first asked our group members whether they want to use PowerPoint or Prezi. It started off a conversation by explaining what Prezi was since few of the members did not know about it. Then, the conversation continued on with:

  • Briefly asking each other about the midterm schedules.
  • Discussing about the topic and chose the for or against.
  • Sharing each other’s contacts.

I felt that there was a gradual development of becoming a team.

The preparation for the presentation went smoothly as each member chose the sub-topics that interested the most, collaborated to help each other, and answered questions that came up. However, we missed the most significant aspect of group presentation: practicing as a team. Due to midterm season, we were not able to schedule a meeting for final practice and to look over the PowerPoint before the rehearsal.


As some say unfortunate expectation always occur, our rehearsal did not go well since we missed the final puzzle piece of becoming a team. However, despite having to be discouraged by other two presentation groups who were absolutely phenomenal and professional, I was able to learn many things from them.

Since the rehearsal, each team member realized a rebuild was needed; so, we immediately scheduled a meeting the day after to improve our presentation to be more persuasive and strategic as well as practicing together numerous times. What the team did really well is that after each practice, each team member gave feedback to the presenter to give an idea what he or she has done well and what needed to be improved. I realized that hard work and effort never betrays when I saw the significant improvements each time we practiced as well as on the day of TED talk.

I particularly enjoyed Math & Sports TED talk because not only it was a topic that I was also interested in, but each member made the presentation unique, engaging, and visually appealing (Don’t want to mention someone particular, but @Cadeem, I think you were awesome!).


What I liked about this presentation is that:

  • It covered many aspects of math being used in different kinds of sports.
  • Numerous examples and statistics were used to support their point and to show real-life application.
  • Information was simple and on-point to be easily understood.

Lastly, I really enjoyed their conclusion in which each member spoke about their opinion about the topic, and how math in sports can be good for analyzing, but it limits the players’ decision making.

To summarize TED talk week, although it may have been stressful, I think that it was great opportunity for everyone to develop as a strong communicator through presenting their TED talk topic as a team and listening to other presentations. Also, I had the chance to make few steps closer in fulfilling one of my goals listed in the Email assignment!

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