Presentations are an essential part of graduate school as well as life after school! Most of our future careers may involve presenting in front of parents, schools, clients, governing bodies, institutions, etc. Therefore, presentations in graduate school should not be frowned upon. It may be helpful to view graduate presentations as a training platform for the future.
This semester has by far been the most presentation heavy semester thus far. I have had a couple of classmates from both of my classes stop me and commend me for effective class presentations. I typically smile and modestly say, “Thank you!”. Most of my classmates believe that it came naturally and without any effort. I tell you, this is far from the truth.
I am a reserved individual, and I have always been comfortable around people I know, not large crowds. My desire to improve my public speaking came when I presented in a research hospital, and I realized that I needed more practice. I joined a club at work that offered employees the opportunity to practice public speaking. The audience at the club provided critic on how to improve on my presentations. This made me hone my strengths and try to diminish my weaknesses.
If there is any piece of advice I would give to students at USG is practice! There are so many activities that are on campus as well as in class. Make sure you take every presentation that you are provided seriously. Also, try to keep improving. Do not see the class presentation as a chore or just a task you want to “get over and done with.” It is likely that in our line of work, you will be called upon to take the stand. Well, let us not only take the stand- but also let us own it!
Future world class speaker!