Friday, July 26, 2013

Apprehension


Class started with a brief overview of yesterday’s low rope course. Dean Almandrez described the two types of leaders: the one who leads and the one who motivates others to achieve their goals. I’ve been contemplating about the type of leader I am because I am not the assertive or decisive leader. By Dean Almandrez's description I realize that I am a transformational leader. I am the person behind the horizontal line pushing everyone forward. I have come to this conclusion since I make an effort to encourage others to continue despite their struggles. For example, yesterday I encouraged all of my classmates to continue to walk along the tight rope. I now have a clearer understanding of my leadership style.

Today's lesson addressed one of the most significant tasks for a leader—public speaking.  Jennifer, our public speaking instructor, gave us a few tips on how to improve our speaking skills. She emphasized the importance of staying true to yourself and improving on the fluency of your speech.

Jennifer highlighted the spectrum of do’s and don’t’s when speaking in public. The lecture ranged from fluency to appearance. She created a list of all the things we may be apprehensive about. Judgment, body language, and coherency were a few of the class’s apprehensions. She talked about each bullet point and told us what we could do to prevent any mistakes.

This was the first time I attended a workshop that formally taught me about public speaking. I learned how to work on my posture and how to create a clear and cohesive speech. She divided the most significant aspects of public speaking into three percentages: 60% is based on your appearance, 30% is based on how you say it, and 10% is based on your diction. She gave great pointers as to how to introduce yourself. An audience will forget 85% of what you say, so it is essential that your entire presentation is strong in all aspects. 

Jennifer’s suggestions about body language were extremely helpful. She encouraged us to not lean on one hip. When doing so, you slightly lower your height, which is important when speaking in front of others. A straight back and hands beside your hips is the best posture to have when speaking in front of others. It is best to avoid having hair in your face since it might distract you while you’re speaking. In all honesty I am looking forward to my presentation on Friday. It will be challenging for me, but it will also be my chance to implement the things I learned in class today.

Personally I feel that I have trouble organizing a cohesive presentation structure without any preparation. I will definitely use a few pauses the next time I have to present. I will need to work on speaking slowly and allowing myself to gather my thoughts. I usually continue to ramble when I am nervous, so now I can work on these bad tendencies.  If I give an impromptu speech, I know all of the tricks to have a strong presentation.  

While Shraddha and I waited for Ms. Neal, we discovered a makeshift ping-pong table in the kitchen. The kitchen is usually occupied, so this was the first time I was able to use the “ping-pong table”
At the end of our class, Ms. Neal took my cohort and me to Siena. It was nice to reunite with everyone again. Although it was just last week when we ate there, it feels like it was long ago. We have spilt into our separate ways since we arrived on campus, and it is difficult to visit one another due to our different schedules. I ordered a creamy pasta plate with crab, and it was delicious!  It was nice to visit an area that was different from the usual scenery. Tonight I will take advantage of the late curfew to spend time with my new friends. It is surreal to know that I am experiencing a condensed version of college life.
Tomorrow’s beach trip is cancelled so I have no set schedule. I plan to relax and explore more of the campus. There is so much to see in so little time!  
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