Went for a presentation course today organised by my own company. The trainer was new, so, I can’t really compare him with others. The only other presentation that I did previously was a Better Grammar for Business workshop and it did not really meet with my expectations. Another colleague of mine went for one previously (conducted by another trainer) and she thought the whole course was brilliant. So, I thought of registering just as an enhancement of my personal development plan.
This was held at the Bankers’ Club in Amoda and everyone registered for the workshop turned up (20 participants altogether). We had a good mix of people from different backgrounds; and I was glad to find the standard of English of other participants to be quite good. It can be actually frustrating if you group together people of different levels cos you will feel bored and that’s what happened in the previous workshop. Most of them are company sponsored – two largest groups being Leo Burnett and DHL.
Since I arrived early with the trainer, I helped around with the set-up of the projectors and distribution of materials. I did not have any colleagues there with me and ended up seated with four ‘males’. A bit ‘kekok’ at first but soon we sort of warmed up to each other. (What to do? If I don’t contribute, I won’t be able to learn!) Hopefully we are going to do some re-grouping tomorrow.
Our trainer kicked off the session by addressing the most common problem of all times – the fear of public speaking. He then made us (much to my horror) to do a short presentation (about 2 mins) on some topics. If that’s not scary enough, he had recorded each of our individual presentations on videocam and re-played everyone’s stint so that everyone else could watch and give feedback.
When I watched myself on TV for the first time, the first thing that came into my mind was that I needed to lose weight. I look like an aunty in the idiot box. I thought that I spoke to fast and I could not stop fidgeting. Perhaps it was a way for me to lose that nervousness in me. Other than that, I think I am oaky, but according to other participants, my pace was alright and I have that confidence aura and in short, my presentation was good. (Which I disagree, really, I thought I was awful). Anyway, the trainer thought that yes, I was a little bit fast, I need to slow down and probably add some pauses to my ‘sppech’ (also one of the most common mistake an inexperienced speaker makes). And also, my body language and eye contact needs attention. I clasp my hands a lot, but more body language will engage the audience better. I do maintain eye contact with the audience but only those in front of me – so, those seated at the corners of the room get ignored.
So, with these points in mind, I shall hope that I will be a better presenter at the end of the day tomorrow.
Having described the course, the next topic on the list would undoubtedly be one of my major concerns – food. Food was not bad, it was very good. We had two tea breaks, with not so heavy finger food and coffee and tea. Lunch was a buffet and it should cost about RM28++. The ‘theme’ for today’s lunch was Seafood Galore and I had a good time digging into the fish fillets, mussels as well as sashimi. Yum.. Yum.. Tomorrow’s lunch theme will be on Italian favourites, so, I am expecting some lasagne and pasta.
Anyway, I will update this again after the training, so let’s see if I will become a more confident and effective presenter in the future.