It was really interesting watching the proposal presentations videos back on YouTube and to refresh myself on the points each member of the year raised so that I could consider these further, however it was also a good opportunity to observe everyone’s presentation skills and how their delivery of their pitches influenced my views on their ideas. Before I go into any further detail regarding other members of the company I wish to comment on my own presentation and reflect on how I used the skills provided to me in Lynn’s workshops prior to the presentation day.
I pride myself in the fact that my ideas were thought out and well structured in the sense that I tied all my ideas together and knew the points I was making in each section of the presentation and managed to create a visual PowerPoint to assist me in this. I started my presentation by reading and showing the group the Oscar Wilde quote which inspired most of my ideas and what I felt to be the main area of exploration in our whole Saints and Sinners project. I did this as I thought it was important to show the group my journey and process of thoughts when coming to each specific idea I would be showing them. One point I had remembered when Lynn gave her workshop in presentation skills was when showing quotes or text on a slide show, to give enough time for the audience to read it and absorb the information on the slide; I kept this in mind when presenting and made sure to pause so they could do so, and when watching the video of my presentation back I felt that this showed and paid off well.
Following this I swiftly moved on to my first idea which was the song ‘Rebel’ by Alyssa Bongura. Unlike some of my peers I feel I provided the audience with a bit of background on how I came about the idea and my reasoning for proposing each specific piece. I think this helped give them some more context around the ideas I was proposing, rather than just assuming they would already know the song or piece I had chosen, as I I am well aware my music taste isn’t exactly mainstream. I decided to play them a section of the track via a YouTube link on my PowerPoint so that they could hear the lyrics and listen to the music (as I was fairly certain no one else would have heard the song or artist before). When doing this I instructed the group to listen out for the lyrics as they were the main reason for me picking the song; I think by directing them into what to listen out for, it showed that I had a clear understanding of what I was doing and the reasoning behind my decisions and also prevented the audience from drifting off or losing interest as they had a clear purpose and instruction given to them that would help keep them engaged. At the time I was worried that I may have left it too long when listening to the song and remember worrying that they might have lost interest or stopped listening, however since listening and watching it back I feel the extract I played was a good length and managed to show them the main section of lyrics in the chorus that I felt were the most important and poignant.
Once I had shared the initial idea I chose to talk about the forms the idea might take place as and who might be involved in these, which in reflection I think was a good detail to include as it showed how I thought about their execution and not just thought about it in isolation. It also helped the group visualise how it might fit into place with the other proposed ideas and who would be available or needed for each if the acts.
My second idea was based around the ‘seven deadly sins’ which I prosper we presented in the form of a satirical comedy where each of the seven deadly sins were personified as a person with these qualities. I am open when saying that this idea wasn’t quite as developed or well thought out as my first idea, and that maybe this came across in the way I presented and spoke about it, nevertheless I feel I managed to provide the details I could in a composed and thorough way. Although listening to it back I can hear that I repeat myself several times and go back to parts of explain it better, I know that I did this because I was aware the idea was slightly more confusing than others and I wanted to make sure everyone understood where I was coming from. In addition to this, I think I felt quite thrown in regards to the fact that someone else had presented an idea very similar to my own just before mine. This aggravated me a great deal, as it was only the day before that I had shared my idea briefly to the rest of the group in a session lead by Sarah, where we spoke about our progress so far, and in this I mentioned lots of the ideas that said person spoke of in her presentation. Nevertheless, I personally think I handled it in a mature way and continued with an in depth presentation of the idea instead of skimming over it due to this factor.
Another technique I feel I successfully took on board from the presentation technique workshop and used to my advantage was remembering to take time to pause and stop talking when turning round to change slides rather than trying to speak with your back to your audience. It is easy to feel like you are under pressure or rush or carry on speaking when doing this, and I often felt guilty as if I was using up too much time or was boring the audience by taking this extra time, however it made sure that they didn’t miss out on any information and also gave the impression of me being confident enough to conduct an down the space and control the audience and my time while presenting. I think this element of control and confidence came across in my presentation which I am really proud and pleased of as in reality I can be rather nervous inside. While at times I may have initially forgotten to stop talking when turning round to change clips, from watching the video back I can see that I usually notice this and immediately correct this by turning my head to face the audience and deliver what I was saying.
I think I spoke in a clear and loud voice and used the visual aids of my PowerPoint presentation well. Nevertheless I am aware that when presenting I do have a tendency to use fillers such as ‘like’ and ‘um’ and ‘err’ a lot, but this is naturally something I tend to do a lot of in everyday life when trying to find the right words to explain something or simply just as a habit rather than a nervous or hesitant tendency. I don’t think it was too distracting for the audience I was pitching to, as I’m sure they have all tuned into my way of speaking by now, however when preparing a presentation in the future (especially to people who don’t know me as well) I will be sure to work on ironing this habit out. As a speaker in general I tend to use my hands a lot to explain things which normally helps me get out what I want to say and normally reflects the passion and enthusiasm I have for my ideas.