Effective Presentation Skills: Lessons from Gyan Session

I was forwarded the invite for Gyan session on effective presentation skills by my organisation’s founder. In my capacity as the communications and outreach associate of Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT), these skills are at heart of what I do, therefore I quickly lapped up the opportunity.

I arrived at the Qutub Institutional Area at 10 O’clock in the morning, and was received warmly by Anuradha on my arrival. There were several other participants from other organisations as well. It was interesting to meet people from so many diverse backgrounds and different work areas. The session began with our facilitator, Parul introducing herself and asking for our introductions. She already had an idea of our expectations from the session as this had already been taken care of when we had filled in our forms.

She made us do a quick fun exercise to get rid of our inert state. After this, she initiated an honest conversation amongst us as to what were the problems that we faced as individuals when we were aked or required to give a presentation. There were a lot of honest reposnes. Somebody asked about the right way of looking at the audiences, how to get rid of stage fright and fear. I had personally asked about powerpoint presentations, albeit this was not a session on powerpoint presentations, and I was pleasantly surprised when my questions were also taken into consideration during the discussion.

Parul had structured the presentation in a way so that all our questions that were mailed to her got addressed. She wrote all our questions one by one on the board and gave very detailed answers . She not only gave us those key pointers, but also explained the rationale behind such a usage. This helped us in getting a better understanding of why some of the things that we do as presenters are so much essential. She spoke about the non verbal aspect of communication and its importance.

She also said that people have a way of sensing if the speaker was afraid, and gave some essential tips on how to be confident and not to appear worried or frightened. She touched upon everything from our opening of the presentation to the conclusion, the essential aspects such as enagagement with speakers, eye contact and our expressions. We were meant to do presentations after the lunch break. The lunch break not only provided a perfect opportunity to tweak our presentations but also gave us more time to interact with members from other NGOs. There were some senior members who were very supportive and co-operative.

Armed with our new knowledge and after having a sumptuous meal, we all felt a bit confident. We were meant to incorporate all that was taught to us during the first half of the session in our respective presentations. One by one we all came on the podium and gave our presentations, my favorite part of this exercise was that we all got to assess each other’s performances and after receiving everybody’s feedback, Parul gave her inputs. This gave us a very rounded assessment of our presentations.

Simultaneously, while we were giving our presentation, Anuradha was standing behind the lens to record our every move. We were shown the recorded versions of our presentations to have an understanding of how we delievered our presentations. I thoroughly enjoyed the session. On my back, I was not only taking back some of the key lessions from the session but I was also thrilled at having met so many new people who share the same world of work as me.

“Shambhavi  Singh was a participant at the GYAN trainings session on Effective presentation skills, 22nd June 13”

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