Understanding People in the Workplace

The group for our presentation comprised of four members: Steve Adams, Paul Hylton, Simon Nadin, and myself Thom Lant. The topic we chose was the flexible firm. Unfortunately Steve left the course half way through, so the other members had more work to do. The group norming process was painless, as Paul, Simon, Steve and myself had worked together before. Ben joined at a later stage but was a welcome edition; we had met and talked before. The group norms were quickly and efficiently sorted out. Each member chose which part of the presentation they would like to do, however through out we collaborated closely on our task as a whole. The decision making process of the group was very democratic, using a majority voting system.

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The presentation plan we put together consisted of a brainstorming session, to get some initial ideas. We worked out the basic structure of the presentation and then carried out individual tasks for our allotted piece of the presentation. This was supported by regular meetings to track progress, help each other and work out any problems. Individually and as a group we performed in depth research into the subject matter and also the technique and choreography of effective presentations. To do this the group and myself utilised various tools and sources including: the Internet, books, news extracts and statistical data. This allowed us to prepare our speeches with confidence, and gave the knowledge, to answer most questions on the topic.

After this stage we put together the PowerPoint slides. Paul had an excellent grasp of the package, this was very helpful to me and provided a good learning curve( some help from Drexal ). In the layout of the slides they were designed to stand out and to use language appropriate to the audience. We tried to make them brief so the audience would remember them, but at the same time reinforce the important points we wished to make.

Now we were ready to practice our presentation. Making the most of the facilities in the library we hired the presentation practice rooms for a total of four hours. This was very useful, as it helped me to alleviate some of me pre-presentation nerves. It also gave us the chance implement and practice some of the presentation skills we had read about. We had a few teething problems with PowerPoint so we consulted Drexal and he helped us through them.

As the actual presentation took place I felt quiet nervous, I was responsible for the introduction. After introducing the group I began to relax, I had done my home work and felt confident in my ability and did not have to consult the notes whilst performing my speech. I used hand gestures and made eye contact with the audience and tried a body posturing technique for relaxation I had read about.

The other members of the group performed their speeches very well, just as we had planned it. I thought we were professional and Steve brought some good humour into the presentation. The group may have laughed quite a bit towards the end of the presentation, I think this was a release of tension and did not spoil it. This task of preparing and giving a presentation has given us all much more confidence. We worked hard to get the presentation to go smoothly and tackled any problems that arose. As a group we were able to rely on each other and draw on each other’s skills, we all enjoyed the task.


Communication a career and social focus: Berko, Wolvin and Wolvin (2001)