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.
Wesley Nance Justinian Plague Presentation Self Critique Considering this was my first presentation of my college career