Wesley Nance Justinian Plague Presentation Self Critique Considering this was my first presentation of my college career
Justinian Plague Presentation Self Critique
Considering this was my first presentation of my college career, I don’t think I did an awful job. There were definitely some things that I was able to notice about myself while I was presenting, but after reading my classmates’ critiques and watching myself, I know exactly what I need to work on now. I noticed how uncomfortable I was with presenting my information. This was for a couple different reasons. Like I mentioned earlier, this was my first college presentation, and I think that made an impact on how nervous I was.
The first thing I need to adjust for my future presentations is how I handle myself while I am presenting. While I was at the podium, I would sometimes take pauses while I was getting my information straight in my head. This lead to awkward transitions between sections and an unfluid presentation overall. During these pauses, I would either look up at the ceiling or bend down to look at my outline. I did not notice this while I was presenting, but my classmates did, and I did later on when I watched myself. Also while I was presenting, I paced slightly, and my classmates pointed out that I used too many hand gestures. I do agree that pacing or swaying is not a professional thing to do while presenting, but I was always taught in my rhetoric classes to use hand gestures while I speak. I understand why some people might see them as distracting, but I have found that they help me speak better and can be very useful in keeping the audience engaged if used correctly.
The second thing I need to work on is being more prepared. I finalized my outline on Monday night, and every night since then I practiced what I was going to say with some of my classmates. I thought I did enough to prepare, but come presentation day, it turns out that I did not. Like I said earlier, I looked down at my outline way too often, and because of that, I was not able to connect to my audience like I wanted to. I felt like I was able to speak well after I saw the prompt on my outline, but I was lost until I saw the prompt for the next section. Next time, I need to be more familiar with the order of my presentation, and I need to be able to present my main points without looking down at my outline.
On a brighter note, I will give myself some credit. Firstly, I felt like the content in my presentation was informational and not too boring. My rhetoric teacher in high school told me that I was good at taking complex topics and presenting them in a way for others to easily understand. I know the Plague of Justinian is not the deepest topic, but I still I think I said what I needed to say in order for my audience to take away the important facts. From reading what my classmates said, I think they would agree with me too. They said I had a good speaking voice and, for the most part, I did not speak too quickly.
The second thing I was happy with was my powerpoint. No one commented on it in their critiques, but I still thought it was a nice aid to the content I had. I only put a few words on the slides, and I think the pictures were big enough for everyone to see. I also thought all the slides were relevant to what I was saying at the time. Something I was worried about was clicking the slides at the right time, but everything went as planned with my powerpoint. Some might not have the same opinion on my powerpoint as I do, but that is one thing I would not change if I had to go back and do my presentation again. I have given many presentations throughout high school, some better than others, but one thing I know for sure is that this presentation is not the best I can do. Now that the pressure of the first presentation is out of the way, I can only see myself improving from here.