Presentations – Former DIFC Student offers advice.
DIFC IFY intake 2 students are working on their presentations at the moment. There are some fascinating topics being planned and as usual, the presentations will be a highlight of our academic year. Of course, public speaking can be a stressful experience. In this interview, Brendan Hough, talks about his experience of doing a presentation in DIFC in the 2013/2014 academic year and offers some advice.
Q. Brendan, what was your presentation about?
The topic I covered was regarding the life cycle of stars. From birth, death and rebirth.
Q. Why did you choose this topic?
I’ve always been particularly fond of astronomy and so giving a presentation about a topic of interest to me would mean a fluid, well-structured and really easy one could be made. I’ve always been reading books since I could remember and the first non-fiction one I picked up was an encyclopaedia on space. The pictures and facts of each known celestial body at that time just drew me in with this wonder of the unknown. With space being so big and empty I found something in common between myself and the subject.
The rest is astronomy. (Instead of history)
Q. Is there any fact (factoid?) from your presentation that you think is really interesting?
The proved theory of neutron star collision. Two of these stars which are basically the compression of massive stars into something the size of our moon, both folding and breaking into one another to the point where they fuse and turn into q supermassive black hole. The cool way this actually looks when it occurs is what makes it more fascinating.
Q. Why do you think you did well in the presentation?
My confidence in execution was key. As important as what I was saying may be, it was the delivery and showmanship I gave to my lovely audience that made the presentation go so well.
Q. What advice would you give to someone doing a presentation now?
When in front of an audience, people understand more of what you do than what you say. Hand gestures, movement and attentive eye contact shows engagement with the audience and if done well will be reciprocated in full. Make it a stage and give a performance rather than a lecture. Finally, be confident and smile… With your body.
Q. How do you think people can develop more confidence? What do you need to do/know to be more confident?
Yeesh… Confidence is a tricky thing. Which coming from me is a really big deal. When presenting I just shut off the care I have for what people think and hope what I’m saying is understood (contradictory I know but it makes sense to me).
I guess that’s a big part of confidence – understanding. What you’ll talk about and to whom you’re talking to. Make sure you get that and you’ll do great.
Brendan studied at DIFC on the IFY Engineering programme. He is currently studying in DCU, finishing off his first year and having a great time and enjoying the fabulousness that is Andersons. If you want to know a bit more about the topic of Brendan’s presentation, you can check out this Youtube video on The Life Cycle of Stars.