My lesson plan changed in subtle ways through implementing changes based on instructor and peer feedback. Instructor guidelines told us to be smooth, concise, and practiced. For my presentation, I planned to rely heavily on examples to introduce the concept of pronoun reference errors and on a story to explain why avoiding sexist language is important. I benefited from watching other presenters go first and going to a workshop on effective presentations the Friday before my practice run. After practice during editing class, I added a comment on titles (Dr. versus Mrs., etc.) in email etiquette. Other students in class suggested I use more eye contact and natural hand gestures. My peers gave me some tips on getting over nervousness during oral presentations. They noted how easily I could speak during discussion, yet how much difficulty I had speaking naturally while presenting. Practice and feedback helped my experience in the classroom go smoothly.
I had a positive experience in the classroom. My purpose was to present a 5-10 minute presentation on grammar to an audience of English 111 students, and I accomplished my purpose. The presentation itself was within the time limit and a little extra time was spent dealing with technical difficulties and answering questions. After practicing for the editing class, I got over most of my nerves for presenting to the English 111 class. However, I was still thrown off by technology not cooperating. During practice, I realized that PowerPoint’s Presenter View did not recognize the projector as a second monitor, so I brought in my laptop to my presentation. There was another error in connecting my laptop to the monitor, so the solution I was faced with was to show my slides from the desktop computer in the room and view my notes on my laptop computer. The English 111 students were responsive. They participated in reading corrected examples, were amused with at least some of my humorous examples, and asked good questions. I learned a few things from my experience in the classroom.
Through my experience, I learned that planning and practice really do help with effective presentations; if I had to go back and do my presentation all over again, I would have included more of a hook for my the first part of my presentation. The more I planned and practiced my presentation, the more comfortable I felt. I’m not comfortable with just winging it and I don’t have to be. Surprisingly, the more practice and preparation people have presenting, the more natural and unrehearsed their presentations seem. I was glad that I had extra examples at the end of my presentation even though I didn’t use them; however, I could have spent less time preparing examples I didn’t use and more time preparing a more engaging introduction. Going first did put more pressure on me, and I felt as though the second presenter benefited from having the class be warmed up. I am glad to have had the opportunity to learn through teaching, I know more now about pronouns than I would have if I only read about them.