I have grown to be a confident presenter. My most successful presentation took place in my current job when I was asked present a leadership-development program for a class of management trainees. The point of my program was to teach each trainee his or her leadership style, so he/she knew how to interact on his or her floor as a student leader. The most significant aspect of this program is that it taught them about their leadership styles without their knowing it. Each trainee filled out a general questionnaire that asked about preferences. Each person, according to his or her responses, was assigned to a group. I then gave each group a book to read. Each group had to read a portion aloud, after which I explained how each group tackled the task. They all had handled the task differently. Each trainee successfully understood how he or she approached tasks, and from that how they would approach their job as managers. Not only did I engage the audience in what was being presented, I have since seen the program adapted in other presentations by trainees in that class. Not only did they enjoy it, they learned something about themselves that would help them help their subordinates.
What has been your most successful experience in presenting to a group? (question and response contributed by Doris Flaherty)
Last year, I presented to 50 potential students and their parents on Campus Visit Day. The topic was “Choosing a Major.” I had given this presentation before, and it was okay, but I wanted something better. I did some research and found a really great icebreaker. After tailoring it to fit the college where I worked, I used it with this group. That little icebreaker helped me begin with a big laugh. From there, I provided the kind of information they could really use. I explained not only how to go about selecting a major but also how to choose classes in the meantime. The Admissions Office, which gathered evaluations, said that my presentation received the highest marks of the day and that many people took the time to write comments about how worthwhile the information was to them.
Give an example of how you applied knowledge from previous coursework to a project in another class.
Last semester I was taking a microeconomics and a statistics course. One of the microeconomics projects dealt with showing the relationship between the probability that customers would stop buying a product if the price was raised a certain amount. Through what I learned in statistics, I could find the median where the price was the highest and still kept most of the customers happy.
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