During the 3rd week of class, we weighed our bikes and measured the distances traveled by them on the lowest and highest gear in order to understand how gear ratios worked. After that, we all biked to Golden Gate park where the first half of students presented. Before I gave my speech, I felt somewhat confident in myself because I knew that I had made sure that I really knew the topic I was presenting on. I felt as if the more I knew my topic, the more comfortable I would be which was entirely true. When presenting, I tried to stay cool calm and collective, not worrying about imperfections in order to maintain a clear head. After which we biked to the theater between the Academy of Arts and the De Young museum to listen to the other student’s speeches. Listening to the speeches of other students helped me see what I could improve in my own presentations.
During the second class, I was put into a group of 3 and had to assess a TED talk concerning the speaker’s credibility. I was paired with Sierra and Olivia and our video talked about building a bike community and the benefits of biking. We each had to go down the credibility matrix which was a good way to learn how to learn how to find the credibility of a speaker. We came to the conclusion that our video was not clear cut, and we presented this in front of the rest of the class in front of the statue in the Panhandle. When presenting, I felt somewhat nervous because I didn’t know too much about what the speaker’s main message was.
During the first class of FYS, I felt at ease until we had to speak in front of a stranger. This is when I began to feel very nervous because I had to talk about a topic that I was no expert in, which was “What makes a good/effective presentation/speech. When speaking in front of other students whom I have never seen before, I began to stutter, use filler words, and had very awkward body posture due to the amount of discomfort. However, I felt as if it was a good segue into the purpose of the class which was to become comfortable in a situation like that.
When I first started recording myself for my rehearsal, I felt very uncomfortable. I felt uncomfortable and nervous because I knew I was going to see myself present from a 3rd person point of view. When recording my video, I assisted myself by having lines to read off of in order to get into the swing of speaking in front of a phone. After reviewing the video, I tried to improve my speech by hitting key points without a script (instead, using bullet points). This helped me organize and structure my thoughts. During my 3rd video, I gave my speech without reading off of anything to know if I was able to retain all the information I retrieved. Doing these videos helped me for the final presentation in front of the class.
During my conference with Professor Hunt, we discussed our personal interests, goals, and life experiences. Through this, Professor Hunt was able to guide me in a certain direction to help me come up with something to do my credibility project on. After telling Hunt that I waned to major in physics, he told me about a Youtube video which concerns the physics of a bicycle, explaining why they don’t fall over once they reach a certain speed. I had come across this video in the past and it seemed the the perfect idea, which is why I chose it to do my project.
A major factor that I noticed correlated with an effective speech was when the speaker really knew their subject, such as knowing specific statistics or the subject’s history/context. This along with good eye contact, a clear structure, and sometimes bits of humor are the best qualities of the peer presentations that I would like to improve in myself to reach my goals as a speaker.
During my credibility presentation, I thought that I did well in looking at the audience to create a more engaging experience rather than looking down reading something most of the time. However, I wish that I improved on having more pauses instead of just rushing through the presentation. I felt confident about my delivery because I addressed clearly why I gave my video credibility by listing them down in sequence, which goes hand in hand with conveying information to the audience. This assignment helped me learn much more about credibility because it showed me that there are many aspects to credibility that I have never taken into consideration beforehand. I feel that I learned more about the ethics of public speaking after researching how to give a good presentation as well as watching others present to observe what techniques they use to create an effective message. For future presentations, I plan to rehearse more and try to create more pauses so that my message can be portrayed more clearly.
For class I watched two TED talks, one saying that helmets are necessary when bicycling while the other says the opposite. What is your opinion on wearing a helmet when biking?
As Executive Director, what are some subtle techniques that you use to create a more effective speech/presentation?
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