Presentation Skills Event

Sun, 2017/09/10

On Thursday, September 7, Daniel Moser exhibited on ‘Presentation Skills’ in the MTCC Auditorium, under the curriculum of Career Services. BJ Engelhardt -Director of Operations, Digital Analytics, and Strategic Intelligence, keenly welcomed Dr. Daniel Moser and prompted our attendance for the upcoming events: Career Fair (September 21, September 22) and Prep Night (Tuesday evening, September 20 from 4:00 to and 7:30 p.m.). He strongly recommended students to attend the Prep Night for an individual based practice pitch with a Career Services Coach.

Back to Moser, he began his slide with a note: “You’re always on! Delivering Compelling Presentations.” Over time, he had noticed the most common and biggest mistakes that employment seekers do. They don’t smile! Instead, they appear uninterested, sound lethargic, and produce signs of nervousness. Consequently, this creates an image that: “you really don’t want to be in this place.” He proceeded with an articulation exercise. Illinois Tech attendees did a vocal warm up exercise by repeating: ‘A box of biscuits, a batch of mixed biscuits’ under varied vocal nodes.

Quite humorously, Moser made the audience take resolutions for self-improvement - “start thinking ourselves not as civilians but as professionals.” Even though, we do not speak, we still communicate through our gestures. However, it is noteworthy that a critical listener can retain about 50%. That is, half of the information is missed out on. Crucially, we need to enhance our listening skills. To maximize it, we need to have goals. Agendas planned out. ‘Concentrate’, ‘Concentrate’, ‘Concentrate’, are the words that should be on replay. And, “elevate your gains to maximize your investment. ” In other words, we should dare to dream, and dream big.

“... research not communicated is research not done”, Moser believed. He laid emphasis on prior research on a company, by interacting with its personnel. And why that? It makes the job seeker appear more ‘effective’. He had an experience in coaching high profile individuals, who struggled in presenting themselves. That struggle came in the form of nervousness. We need to understand that being nervous drops the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) level by 8 to 9%. And, that will surely impact our overall performance. Hence, we need techniques. The self-awareness of how you’re being perceived by others is important.

Illinois Tech gives us a great pedigree. But, “everyone else got those good degrees, best degrees. But why you?” Moser said that it is time we upped the “game”, by considering ourselves as communicators. “You bring the energy in the room: ancient greek- show off you’re an educated person, you can write well and read well.” When you first meet someone, you barely have a couple of seconds to strike a first impression. To connect with another human, we make ourselves more user-friendly. How? We just need to celebrate our strengths.

To quote William G. Buckley: “we all have a lacuna, mine’s baseball.” Lacuna infers to gen. We lack in self-appreciation. To better engage in technical skills, we should learn a technique to become conscious competence. That is learn the right way and practice it, over and over again. Eventually, we will make the “unconscious conscious.” The role of consciousness in skill learning derives the humility that one needs to be educated. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit,” stated Aristotle. Indeed, we need to relearn, and then expect to get better over time. People who are at the top of their game, normally practice more through muscles memories, rather than thinking about their steps.

Neuroplasticity- the brain reorganizing itself - improves performance. By rebuilding your brain, you can be more active, and actually realize what you want to be. It also makes human connection easier when, for example, you meet someone everyday at work. Thus, it requires that we fit in the ‘culture’ of a place. As humans, we have different roles: from sons, fathers to employees. We have different energy. Following a circumstance, we act. And, it has to be authentic. For instance, doctors act like doctors. Now, if doctors doubt themselves, they will feel nervous. It then translates in a lack of credibility to their patients. This is bad.

But, the good news is we are naturally born conversationalists. A side exercise is to find a person with whom we enjoy great conversation. We notice that there is a flow, everything is congruent. There is a proper body language. Our face matches our body gesture. Our attempt is now to copy this style, while presenting for a formal interview. It bumps the energy that we display when interacting with an interviewer. To be a public speaker requires, therefore, to take the mantle and do what others shy away from. People from Talent acquisition/development want to see natural leadership in a potential employee.

Moser shared his next hack - the GPA (General Personal Awareness). He talks about being an “anthropology for Mars.” An experiment that is worth trying is: walk into your room, and look around like you have never before. This will make you realize missed out details, like even a small crack on the wall. In that way, “you will start understanding on things that you wish you could improve on”. Likewise, under the GPA, we develop fundamental soft skills.

Socrates said do not attempt to hide your wisdom. Be bold enough to strike a conversation with strangers, be someone who looks into people’s eyes. Phatic conversations lubricate senses. During that conversation, you want to be “extemporaneous”. Appropriate eye contact easens a conversation. Also, Mosher suggested to never write down a speech. Written speeches tends to be monotonous. However, it can be useful to memorize the first 2 lines, the transition part, and conclusion.

A speech structure that he highly recommends is the pyramid one. That is, start with a main idea and then develop it. A strong structure, further, enables the audience to recreate and pull from it. His recipe/ preparation to crack an interviewer is to restate an example with a strategy: START: S- the situation was, T- the task before, A- the action I took, R- the result of the action, and T- the response to the job you applied for. Turning chaos into meaning, ultimately, gives you the opportunity to strengthen your profile.