Last week I had to do two presentations. If I’d told my year 13 self that I’d have probably cried. I loathe presentations to their very core. Standing up in front of people, trying to convince them that I know what I’m talking about, having everyone’s attention on me; it just sounds like my worst nightmare.
Unfortunately for us presentation haters, it’s almost inevitable that at some point throughout our university studies we’re going to have to do a presentation. I find them extremely daunting, I remember last year worrying about one for weeks beforehand. That said, I feel that since I’ve come to university they have become slightly less scary. I’ve become a bit more confident in myself, but I think I also approach them with a different attitude than I used to. Rather than focusing on how scared I am, I tend to just try and get them over with as quickly as possible, whilst working to the best of my ability. I’ve accepted that presentations are not my strong point, but as long as I try that’s all I can expect of myself.
If any of you are worried about giving presentations, I think you should remember that whilst they may not be the assessment you will do best in, there are people on your course who feel the same kind of fear about exams, or writing long essays. Everyone has their different strengths, and just because you are scared to talk in front of a class does not mean that you are not skilled in your chosen subject.
In the end, I don’t think my presentations went too badly. I even improvised a long segment of one of them completely off the top of my head because a point came to me whilst I was presenting that I thought really enriched what I was saying. That is something I would absolutely never have done before, but I think it really paid off. If you’re comfortable enough with it, university really is the time where you can better yourself and take risks. If they don’t pay off then at least you know you tried and you’re one step closer to knowing what works best for you.