Being a third year events management student, I can say I have been to my fair share of lectures over the years. For a module this year, contemporary issues, one of our pieces of coursework was to put on and present a student workshop for our course peers. One thing, it is not as easy as it seems. From research to then preparing to actually presenting the lecture or tutorial, a hell of a lot of work goes into each one. I can’t imagine having to do this week after week like my lectures have to, so I take my hat off to them!
So for this workshop we had to put on, first things first, choosing the topic. Firstly, in our tutorial, we were put into groups to think of what contemporary issues are associated with events. We put all our thoughts and idea onto a website called Padlet.com, to which the best ideas were chosen as topics and then we would pick a topic which we wanted to do. Our group chose the topic of how urban development is affected by events. Firstly, we thought this topic wasn’t very interesting, and as we had about three months until we had to present it, we forgot about it for a while. It then was a month to go until it was due and we thought we best get started. Initially, we made a google document to share between the group to put all our research into. After doing this, we refined it into a workshop format. As it was a lot harder then we thought, we learnt several things whist preparing, presenting and the feedback given after the workshop. Here it goes:-
1) Keep professional
One of the things was, we did not take ourselves too seriously during the workshop as we were presenting to our course mates (also this did prevent the nerves from kicking in). However, we may have taken it a little too far as people started to pick up on the fact that we were chatting amongst ourselves at the front of the class and as we were going around whist they were doing group work, some of the group started to have personal conversations. A word of advise for this, just pretend you don’t know them and are actually a lecturer, I’m sure the people that we were presenting to would have understood if we didn’t want to chat back. And also, don’t look awkward, fidget or chat at the front of the class.
2) Be prepared!
Although the content was all prepared and we felt that it was beneficial and relevant, we still had cue cards which we relied on. As well as this, when we actually presented, we the wrong video was on the slides (although I did feel like I covered it very well, if I do say so myself). Just making sure the presentation is the right one, it does seem silly to say, but it does happen evidently! Additionally, even though we rehearsed, we did not feel confident enough not to rely on our cue cards whilst speaking. Just making sure you have a solid day of practicing before the workshop would have helped.
3) Keep everyone engaged
With us all being young and have so many distractions, our attention span is ridiculously small. Even though we had to say all the ‘boring’ content, there are ways to make it more fun and engaging for the audience. Simple things like a mind map and a interactive online quiz massively helps. By doing these, we could see if they had been listening, paying attention and learning, which they were. In our quiz at the end, we asked if they felt if the workshop met the objectives that we set, to which 100% of attendees felt we had done.
4) Always have a plan B (…and maybe a C)
It’s a known and a very common thing when someone is presenting, they talk faster. Unfortunately, this did happen to us which meant that the workshop would have finished 20 minutes early! So in an attempt to make up time, we hosted debate between the students to make up time. Because we decided to do this about two hours before we presented our workshop, it wasn’t well prepared and was a bit confusing. Always prepare for a plan B (and maybe a C).
Overall… So, overall I learnt that is was not as easy as it seems! Making sure all information was up to date and relevant as well as engaging, interesting and fun was very hard. Maybe by offering more tasks to engage with, and out last task being better prepared would have done this better. But as a first go at this sort of a thing, in my opinion, it wasn’t bad at all.