Professional Development

Don’t forget your clicker

This is the line that kept ringing in my mind that day after almost 2 or 3 weeks of forgetting to take my clicker for lectures. So, as expected, I remembered to take the clicker this time and I was sure that having the clicker would give a good kick to the delivery of the lecture. Well, this was not the case. I noticed at some point in that lecture that I was mostly speaking from the same spot! How come? This is definitely not my style of presenting and surely, that was not my first time of using a clicker – I’ve used it in other presentations and did quite well with it so what happened? Maybe I was too conscious of using the clicker that I let that distract my delivery that day but one thing was clear in my mind, “you don’t need a clicker to deliver a good presentation; you just need to be you!”

This incidence actually got me thinking about some other presentations I’ve watched and others that I’ve delivered and I realised that it is quite easy to get so fixated on a checklist of things that needs to be done during a presentation that it actually becomes a distraction; thereby negatively impacting on the overall quality of the presentation. As such, this incidence has reminded me that irrespective of popular rules of presentation such as “remember to smile”, “don’t walk in front of the projector”, “maintain a good pace – not too fast, not too slow”, “maintain eye contact”, “be engaging”…etc., it is important not to become distracted by these rules because they could put undue pressure on me before and during the presentation. I believe it is more important to be as relaxed as possible. So, rather than trying so hard to remember the dos and don’ts of a good presentation, perhaps it is better to work on techniques that could help me relax e.g. breathing! Because when I’m relaxed, I’ll naturally ease into the presentation and in such a state, it becomes easier to remember tips, handle mistakes, effectively answer questions, etc. But, the question then is: will I always remember to relax? Is it even that easy to relax, especially when you are about to deliver a very, very important presentation?

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