Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Presentations & the grad student

I've been a graduate student now longer than I was an undergraduate. One of the hallmarks of graduate education are presentations, many, many presentations.

Granted my first presentations stunk royally, but I've made it my personal goal to be a good presenter by the time I am out of grad school. Blogs like Presentation Zen and classes like Visual Literacy do help, but there is also an element of posture, showmanship, and owning the room that come with practice and feeling confident about yourself - this is the element that many graduate school students are missing.

These graduate students use PowerPoint as a crutch to distract themselves from the main issue which is confidence. I came across these older videos of Steve Jobs, a great presenter by any measure, but he isn't using electronic means to get his message out. He is using a whiteboard!

These videos are quite interesting (total run time is 18 minutes). Sometimes I think that it would be worthwhile for undergraduate students to take courses in public speaking and presenting before they graduate. This is a skill that comes in handy many times over.

Part 1

Part 2
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