Thursday, December 11, 2014

12 minutes goes by faster than you think

I've always been fairly comfortable with giving presentations, but don't think I've ever been critiqued to the level I was during the journal club presentations. It was probably one of the most useful aspects of 20.109 for me. When I first started putting together that presentation, I thought it would be a breeze. Little did I know how much time it would take to decipher the paper to gain an in-depth understanding myself, and then how much longer it would take to figure out how to best convey that information to my peers. What made that latter part much more difficult was the time limit. 12 minutes is not a lot! Constructing that presentation really forced me to figure out what was important. I also learned a great deal about how to put together effective slides.

Going over the video of the presentation greatly informed the way I went about the research proposal presentation. During the second round, I knew specifics such as the importance of clear and informative titles, and how to walk people through a narrative. I had also never used additional slides, and my partner and I ended up with about the same number of additional slides as what was in our actual presentation. While that might have been overkill, it's an aspect of presenting which I now really appreciate, because even if we didn't use those slides during presenting, the act of simply putting them together gave us different perspectives on the points we were addressing, and helped us formulate our thoughts.

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