On March 17th, along with my fellow MountEDU members, we successfully held our opp-block, the Rewards of Putting Your Creative Community Service Ideas into Action. The session went fairly well in terms of sticking to our plans and outlines, conveying our message, and keeping the audience engaged. Thanks to Eric and Coco’s hard work during the preparation for this presentation. This post includes what went well and what didn’t during the presentation.
Since I was planning to cover my part with impromptus, I created a detailed outline and visual aids with clear indications of place to craft stories, make an argument, and stress an emotion. The outlines kept my thoughts organized before the talk and assisted me to keep track of the progress while on stage. The biggest takeaway of making an outline was that deriving a message through the connections among the anecdote or story is helpful to maintain audience’s attention and have them walk away with the messages fresh in mind. In a presentation or a session in Opp-block where the audience gathers because of some level of interest on the topic, the most effective to make them feel the presentation worth their time is to share stories while carrying on the message.
There were certain things that need to be improved. First, delivering an impromptus speech was still most challenging kind of public speaking for me, though having an outline in my hand. Because this format of speech requires me to come up with the best I can say and remind myself to communicate with the audience. I did not have enough preparation for solidifying the key sentences and words, which caused lots of repetitions and some difficulties to express the meaning in the most effective and compact sentence.
Another key thing is the use of persuasion. While presenting, I was thinking about the content, though the structure of the speech was organized beforehand, little persuasive techniques like making the connection with the audience through logos and pathos were used. I believed to master impromptus talk was a major obstacle to working on in order to truly become a good speaker.
Also, our team did not have sufficient preparation for the Q&A session. It was very disorganized when we were answering the question from the audience without having a clear direction to go with. We did not sound very clear and confident when dealing with tough questions. Partially, this was caused by the insufficient emphasis on some key ideas like putting in action and starting small during our presentation. This reminded me last time when our team prepared the question for pitching at Tom Tom Youth Summit: we decided which person to answer what kind of question in the most effective order. This lesson taught us whenever we are presenting anything, the confidence and certain preparation to Q&A was crucial to finish strong.