Hello, see below; this is from our little discussion yesterday. I'm not sure i included everything, but i think most of it is there. Its still in the planning stages, so even though i mention 'will be', 'is' a few times (i wanted to sound more positive), nothing is set in stone.†You can also find this online at†the Thesis Writing Circle; moodle.†(This is attached in Word form too.)†††††
Creating a Speaking/Presentations group
The group will be specifically set up to develop your speaking and presenting skills. Presentation skills are always useful and sometimes required for employment. New academics that need to give lecturers, or students who wish to present at conferences, could develop their skills and confidence at these practice meetings.
A group with a range of abilities (from the very, very shy to the well experienced speakers) is what Iím aiming for. I imagine the group would include mostly Masters and PhD students, and others associated with the university. From such a group of people Iím sure there will be an interesting variety of topics, presentation abilities, and well as general knowledge and experience to draw from, and also to provide excellent critiques on what has been presented.
Types of presentation included
-††††††††† Use of props
-††††††††† All else visual/verbal
Specific skills to develop
-††††††††† Being interactive with your audience
-††††††††† Confidence speaking to groups/large audiences
-††††††††† General communication skills
-††††††††† How to constructively, positively critique each others presentations
Structure of meetings
Meetings will be only somewhat structured to maintain a good flow and timeliness of presentations.
I think it would be great to have a Ď1 minute roundsí part of the meeting. In this you would have one minute to speak on a topic randomly chosen that day, before the buzzer sounds to end your speech. This sounds tough, but it is a way to get everyone participating, and the very shy up for at least a few moments. It also would provide a range of presenter abilities in which other members of the group can then critique. This would provide much practice and experience in both presenting and critiquing, and for many participants.
What the group does after this is flexible, but I would imagine that a few longer, prepared presentations would be next, followed by critiquing for each presentation.
Feedback from others is where the learning comes, but you also learn from giving feedback i.e. how to structure it so the person can see what they need to work on, but also can feel confident about what they are already doing well at. Key to the group would be providing a supportive learning environment.
Someone would need to run these meetings (even if this person changed week to week to give everyone experience)?
Daytime or evening? So far, fortnightly Friday mornings has been suggested.
(This group could be great practice for those wishing to enter the next Th3sis 3 speech competition!)
††††††††††††††† Who would like to take part in this group?
-††††††††† Experienced speakers! This could be lecturers, those who did well at the Th3sis competition, anyone!
-††††††††† Anyone, including the very, very shy!
-††††††††† Some dedicated people to help run the group
It is likely we will get everything set up and ready now before everyone goes on holiday, and then begin group meetings some time early next year.
Please reply to this (preferably on moodle, but e-mail is ok)†so that we can know how many are interested and what you would like etc. Your feedback would be great!
If you click the above link, then click on "Thesis writing circle", you will be taken to the moodle group (click 'yes' to join). Then find under "Forums".
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