Friday, October 22, 2010

Benefits presentation is done!

I mentioned something about my benefits class the other day here. I started this post Tuesday and am just now getting around to finishing it.

I had my presentation day on Tuesday. I was a little nervous. Not because I'm afraid of speaking in front of people. I get antsy but not so much nervous. I typically get nervous doing a presentation because I'm not extremely familiar with the information I am presenting. I am more relaxed when I can talk more from the hip than having to check cue cards or read a slide. I just don't feel like investing my precious time in learning/living a topic that I'm going to use until approximately mid-December but it definitely would have made the delivery of my presenting smoother. Actually, I think it went pretty well.

I put the full presentation together Monday night from about 6:30pm until about 10:30pm. I sort of started it a few days or so before and worked on it for about 5-10 minutes over the weekend. I tried to focus more on it Sunday night but that didn't happen. After wondering if I was going to drop the class or not, I again didn't want to put too much effort into my presentation if I was going to drop the class because of my 2nd test grade. I got my grade on Tuesday last week and ten I had to get my presentation together after a day or two trying to decide if I wanted to bail or not. I got all worked up about bailing for nothing because I still could have pulled a D+ or even C- and I'd be done with three more hours of class. Making me that much closer to finally graduating (this has been a long, strenuous effort for showing my kids that college is worth the output...we'll see).

Anyway, I already got my grade back, since it's a few days later, with the comment sheets from my "audience" aka classmates. Funny thing is that most of my classes where there were comment sheets for a presentation took out the commenter's name but not this one. So, if I had a vendetta against one of them, I know exactly who to headhunt!

My grade was a 92%. Now, I'm not sure the grading scale but there were not marks on the sheets. I really didn't care. I got it together and presented knowing that I didn't have to awe the professor as much as I had to just talk, inform and be done with it. The strength comments were good. They liked my knowledge, examples and thought I rocked the Q&A section (that's because I shot from the hip...BANG!). The weakness comments were good too. They were spot on in most cases but again, I wasn't going for anything special and the points they made are the parts that I really didn't care about. Things such as looked back at slides [on the projection screen], didn't address the entire audience as much as could/should have, and a lot of information on the slides. I think that was the gist of them.

In my defense even though I don't need any:
  1. I looked back at the slides because I didn't stand behind the podium to look at the computer monitor like others did AND our professor does for every lecture. I tried to keep from turning to look at them but I'd get ahead of myself inside my mind and looking at the slide would bring me back to simplicity instead of rambling.
  2. Addressing the audience was way down on my list. I tried to be aware of it a little bit but in the end didn't feel like putting that much thought into it. The way I was standing was more the issue than anything. I stood to one side of the screen and therefore I automatically only looked towards 1/2 to 2/3 of the class. I'm okay with that. Again, it wasn't for a business presentation techniques class.
  3. I only had a couple of slides with wordy information on them but the truth be told, I didn't read from the slides. I put the information in there for hard copy viewing. I only verbally spoke about the important things on the wordy slides. Some of the comments mentioned this which was my point but others didn't get it.
So, with all that being said and done, I have one more exam and then a final for this class and I'll be done! I'm not sure how much effort I'm putting into the third exam because I'm okay with the average of 67 and 72—which is a 69.5 or in my eyes a 70. Add in the 92 on the presentation and the anticipated score of at least above 70 on the final and I'm okay with that.

Now, I have to come up with photos and make prints to present at my 3rd critique in my black & white photography class. I think I have to have at least 10 prints so I have to get my ass in gear. Right now it's in neutral and needs to be at least in 2nd by now.

Sometimes I can't wait to just be an employee, husband, and parent. Life is much easier when I don't have to prepare for being a student 4-6 days out of the week.

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