In “The Maker’s Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts,” Donald Murray explains that professional writers feel they truly begin the writing process after the first draft is complete. For the majority of students the opposite is true. Most students feel that the task of writing is complete once they have written the first draft. Many students only proofread their first draft for grammatical and spelling errors and don’t focus too much on the format, writing structure, and the way the information is being delivered. Murray talks about how revising and rewriting allows the writer to better develop their ideas. The writer is able to assess the writing’s meaning and structure and focus on how they want to deliver their message. As a creator, I agree that taking the time to thoroughly revise and rewrite allows for improvement and better development of the writer’s message. I think that many students find it difficult to revise their own writing because they only broadly scan their work. Estes explains that “the writer must survey his work critically, coolly, as though he were a stranger to it”. I believe students have difficulty seeing their own mistakes because they don’t evaluate their work as if it was a stranger’s. Students are less critical of their own work and believe that their first draft is already the best they could do. Therefore, students should focus on revising their writing as if they were a stranger reading it for the first time.
The three C’s of presenting are confidence, composure, and connections. A well rounded presenter has mastered those three aspects. As a presenter, I am normally confident since I prepare early in advance and am able to master the material that I will be presenting. Also, not being fully prepared raises my anxiety and interferes with my composure when presenting. Anxiety and nervousness is definitely a weakness of mine and as a result, composure while presenting is a feature that I am working to improve on. Lastly, connecting with your audience is critical during a presentation and being confident and composed allows for a better connection with the audience. When presenting, I put myself in the audience’s shoes and try to focus on what I want the audience to take away from the presentation. I feel that this allows me to concentrate better and improve my confidence which therefore aids in making a better connection with the audience. Prior to this class, I didn’t have a role model or criteria for effective presentations. I believe that the GOALS — graphic elements, oral elements, audience awareness, level of clarity of content & message, synthesis & context, and overall effectiveness — criteria is a great resource to utilize when determining the effectiveness of a presentation. This criteria can be used as a guideline when planning, designing, performing, and judging a presentation.
Along with using the GOALS criteria, I also think it is valuable to consider building your presentation around a “storyline”. This allows the presenter to break the presentation into smaller pieces that work together to tell the story of the presentation. I believe this makes planning and presenting to be more manageable and more effective. Thus, I will be utilizing the GOALS criteria and storyline format for future presentations to ensure a presentation’s effectiveness.
The acronym BASIC stands for beginner, administrator, script reader, integrated presenter, and coordinator of experiences. The BASIC spectrum is a simple way to evaluate a presenter’s experience and can be used to analyze a presenter’s weaknesses. On the BASIC spectrum, I would evaluate myself as an administrator. As an administrator, I accept my weaknesses during presentations and am working to improve my skill. During presentations, I typically prepare a PowerPoint to be the main focus of the presentation instead of having the audience direct their attention onto me. As an administrator, I believe I am still able to deliver the content in an effective way but still have areas of presenting which I can improve on. Therefore, I am working to build on my current skills and improve my level on the BASIC spectrum by only utilizing a PowerPoint presentation as a supplement and not the main focus of the presentation. As part of a presentation or pitch, it is critical to build and deliver a narrative story as opposed to a delivering a simple report with disconnected dialogue. A narrative story allows the audience to remain engaged and take away your core message delivered during the presentation/pitch.
Building and delivering a narrative story is an aspect that I believe I will have some trouble with. Although I don’t have much experience creating a narrative story for a presentation or pitch, I think I can successfully deliver a narrative with some practice. As stated previously, my nervousness towards presentations and pitches is a significant weakness of mine and think it would be a factor in delivering a narrative story. As a senior, I have some prior experience in preparing presentations at NJIT and throughout high school as well.
I believe I am able to deliver effective presentations since I have experience creating research posters and PowerPoint presentations as supplements during an oral presentation. On the other hand, I am a very shy and introverted person which causes me to deliver the PowerPoint as the main focus of the presentation instead of having the audience direct their attention onto me. Hence, I think my strengths are in the preparation of a presentation and my weaknesses are in the actual performance of the presentation.