Today I was at GT’s Women in Engineering conference all day. I learned a lot, but the presentations weren’t all that exciting. (Well except for the mechanical engineering presentation where they actually did some experiments.) I realized how much schooling has been changing over the years just based on these presentations. The main person for a group would always be some person high up in the faculty side of things and they typically just had a power point and said some facts about their program and the opportunities that you could get from it. However, the students that they would usually have come either present or answer questions would usually be better at presenting to their audience; high schoolers who have short attention spans and want to be entertained while learning.
Most of the presentations were fine, but 1 specifically drove me crazy, and this is what I wrote in my notes about it:
I hate those presentations where you feel like they are reading a paper and talking down to you almost. “First I worked on this. As we worked and worked, it was hard work, but when it finally was done it was the greatest thing. Then I was moved around… Filler, filler, big adjective to describe how important this opportunity was for me. Our official motto. Conclusion about why this career was great for me and why you should choose to come here like I did. And to end, this is the sappy phrase I’m going to end on because I was taught it is good to end that way. Thank you.” When would you ever actually talk to someone like that with the “speechy” format that feels unreal, especially when you use the “kindergarden story time” voice to
say read it? We are high schoolers, talk to us like normal people. Tell us a truthful story that is to the point and informative, not your formulaic presentation speech used to explain a topic. Uggg….
That is what I wrote at the time, but looking back I may have been a little over dramatic. The point is though, that learning to present well is really important if you actually want to get your ideas and thoughts across to your audience. I am so thankful that now this is more of a focus in education.
I have many more thoughts from today, but I still have a little homework and a test and 2 quizzes to study for since we went to Frozen on Ice tonight (which was amazing!!!!!!!), so I’ll save those for later.