Textualities Mini-Conference 2014

The UCC Textualities Mini-Conference took place on the 28th of March in the Western Gateway Building. All of the students in the English Masters Programme had to do a presentation. I did my presentation on the author Chimamamanda Ngozi Adichie. We had to use a presentation style Pecha Kucha. This is a Japanese presentation style. It is six minutes and forty-seconds long. It involves using twenty slides for twenty seconds. This was the first time I used Power Point for the first time in a presentation. I was very nervous about using it in this setting because I don’t have much experience in public speaking. The conference started at 10am and it was decided into three parts. My presentation was in the last panel. I was the second last speaker of the day. In order to settle the nerves I was hoping that my presentation would have been earlier in he day but I very much enjoyed listening to the others presenting. There was a very wide variation of topics in the presentations. It was very interesting and informative.

 

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As I said earlier my presentation was based on the author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I chose to do the presentation on her because it is connected to my thesis topic. I am going to explore representations of Race, Gender and Disability in my thesis and I am using Adichie’s books as a source to do this. In order to prepare for the presentation I had to first become more familiar with Power Point. I had to see what slides would be appropriate and interesting for the audience. In order to keep in time with the Pecha Kucha style I decided to make my slides more general and I also tried to make sure that they all linked together well. At first I thought that twenty slides was too many but in the end I had so many images that I wanted to use. I had to become more selective in this process and choose wisely. I also had to write my speech out and make sure the two were well connected. I wanted it to be interesting and engaging to the audience. The Power Point helped me to achieve that as it makes the presentation more striking and interactive. Putting the pictures and quotes up on a big screen  allows the presentation to reach out and grab the audiences attention. I had to time the presentation so that I did not go over the time allotted to me.

I learned a lot from doing this presentation. At first it seemed like a very daunting prospect especially using the Pecha Kucha style of presenting. I found the constraints of the timing very challenging. It was difficult to time the points I was making to the twenty-second slides. Over all I was pleased with my performance. I feel like if I was doing it again I would do a few things differently. For starters I would try to look out at the audience more while I was speaking. My nerves got the better of me here and I did not make a lot of eye contact. I would also try not to read from my script so much. Again this was due to nerves because I knew my speech very well but the nerves did affect my delivery of it. I would also try to keep in time with the slides more. There were times when I was definitely out of sync with the slides. There are things to improve on if I was to do it again. It thought me a lot bout my style of learning. I sometimes tend to be afraid of technology and so I don’t try to use it. The Power Point really did improve my presentation and helped me to bring it to life. I hope to use it again in the future. I really enjoyed attending the conference. I was entertained and enlightened by the other presentations. I thought all the other speakers did an incredible job. I look forward to learning more about there work. The conference also helped me to get excited about my thesis topic. The reaction to the topic and the issues I raised was very positive and it gave me the encouragement and motivation that I needed for the months to come.

 

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