Pretty proud with what I accomplished the past two days. If you asked me half a year ago if I would stand up in front of a class and give a presentation, I would have laughed in your face and thought you were joking. That or hyperventilate and pass out!
Last month when I went on a field trip with Heriot Watt university and they told me we had to do a presentation each day we were there. It honestly was like a nightmare come true. Back during the A level era, I had to do a talk in front two people. My class mate and my lecturer in Geography. Did I do it? No. Refused and he basically had to do it for me.
In third year of my undergrad, I had to do a presentation in a group, but all of us didn't have to speak. Guess which I chose. In my opinion, giving us a choice to speak shouldn't be an option. People as nervous as me will always opt for safe option.
In fourth year, in a group had to talk about Ocean Fertilisation. It wasn't assessed (phew)! I was so nervous, I did a 10 min presentation in 4 minutes. Yes. 4! I talked so fast and didn't breathe and was pretty much light headed at the end. They did "fake" mark it and gave feedback. I would have only "just" passed with 42%.
Another talk was done in 4th year on Whaling. I was on the side of "for" which was pretty difficult as it's hard to argue for whaling when you're totally against it. I did a wee bit better on this, but still nervous and shaking like a leaf...
So Millport. 5 presentations in one day. Honestly, the first one was so difficult. What made it harder was that we only had about half an hour to research the topic of renewable energy. It did get easier as the days went. I still shook like a leaf. I was less nervous towards my last talk, and definitely saw an improvement in myself at the end of the trip. My leg was still shaking though (honestly couldn't stop it...I told my leg to stop but it wasn't having any of it)
And now it leads to yesterday. I would never have imagined standing in front of a class presenting on my own on a topic about sea lice which I know nothing about! No one else beside me, just myself and the screen. I did it :)! I don't think I was shaking. I was nervous yes, but enjoyed the whole experience!
Today, my final presentation of the year, I was in a group again and talked about the impacts and mitigations of waste disposal. In front of a huge class..well only 18 people and Hamish. And I enjoyed it. Honestly surprised myself!
Presentations should be compulsory in undergrad courses. They shouldn't give an option to speak or not speak because with the practise and experience I had at Millport it definitely helped with my confidence. I still need to work on not reading my notes and start speaking from my head...but that'll come with practise. I don't hyperventilate anymore!
So yes. I am so grateful for Heriot Watt and so surprised that they could take most of the hatred towards presentations away from me :)