Presentation Reflection

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This image reflects my preparation for the presentation really well. This cute comic shows how I made the powerpoint, made the really long and overly detailed cheat sheet and then didn’t know where to go next. I think I relied too heavily on the cheat sheet the first presentation, and then my second presentation I tried to just go through without it. I need to find a balance between me talking at the class from a script, and me floundering my way through it. I’m not comfortable presenting. Can I do it? Yes. But I would be less nervous if I had a smaller group, or was just tutoring someone. Being nervous can be both good and bad for presenting. It can be debilitating or make you relatable.

I googled presentation anxiety and found some good advice from Forbes, an article called Four Ways to Quiet Your Presentation Anxiety. The first rule is to not be so self centered. So first, I need to change the shift from thinking about me to thinking more about the audience. A lot of the time when I’m presenting I’m focused on myself to make sure I’m not stuttering, sweating profusely, shaking, or showing any other signs of nervousness. Instead of focusing on my distracting anxiety, I should focus on what the students need to hear, if they are receiving the information, and if they understand. Their second rule is finding the best way to rehearse. I don’t think I’ve found the best way to rehearse. Trying to explain the information to my friends isn’t helping me flow through the slides. Between now and Friday I’m definitely going to be talking to myself a lot, and hoping I can improvise when I’m with the students. Their last bit of advice really hits home: Think Connection, Not Perfection. I can’t feel so embarrassed about every little mistake. Does it matter if I mess up as long as the students are having fun?

USF College of Education also has a helpful page for Speaker’s Anxiety. It addresses that I may be thinking catastrophically, or spending too much time thinking about the bad things that happen. I mean, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Some high school kids think I’m lame? Ha, like that hasn’t happened before. I’ll survive.

After all this about my nerves, I do feel ready to teach. Maybe I’m not but I’d rather just dive in and see how it goes. I’m going to be nervous no matter how long I’ve practiced and prepared, so I should just go for it. I can turn my nervous energy into excited energy. So, I’m really excited to meet the students and get them as excited as I am about carbon. I’m more nervous about the teacher or administrator being present when I’m teaching than actually interacting with the students. I need to impress them and do a good job so that school participates again.

I really enjoyed Siobhan’s presentation. No matter how she feels inside, she looks relaxed and in control. Her presentation flows really well, and that’s something I should work on.

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2 responses to “Presentation Reflection”

  1. mckennast says :

    I thought you did a really good job presenting. I really like that you put this article on reducing presentation anxiety from Forbes. I thought they really hit the nail when the said that you have to not be so self-centered. I know that when I have anxiety attacks it is because I am so far inside of my own head that I am not in touch with reality anymore and I am worrying about trivial things that only affect me but that do not really matter in the long run. It is really important to remember that this presentation is not for us, it is for the students.
    I agree that rehearsing this is very difficult because my only audience, my boyfriend does not take it seriously and just tries to get me to mess up the whole time. Doing it in front of an imagined audience is a little better but you do not get any feedback on whether or not you are explaining the points correctly.
    I think you will be just fine in front of the high school class and that you will have more confidence knowing that you are in charge of the lesson. I agree that it will be intimidating to have the school teachers or administrators there because they will be seasoned lesson-givers and will know when you are messing up. But the students won’t. In music class we were told that if we mess up on a song to pretend like that’s how the song goes and to continue without hesitation and the audience will be none the wiser. I think we need to do the same with this presentation.

    Good luck tomorrow!

  2. carbonconnections says :

    I think your presentations skills are definitely improving! I think the first piece of advice in the Forbes article is awesome. The major focus is what they are learning and trying to make it enjoyable. The students will be excited to be getting information from someone other than their teacher and I thought you did a nice job of turning your nervous energy into excited energy. Enthusiasm and caring about the material and student understanding will go a log way toward making them want to learn. Don’t worry about the teachers or administrators, most of the time they end up learning just as much if not more than the students we are working with. They will also be excited to have content delivered to their class by someone other than themselves.

    And yes, you are going to go for it, and you will be great!

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