You can have the best ideas in the world, but if you can’t communicate them clearly to others, then what’s the point?
My oral communication class and my engineering leadership class this semester have made me focus much more on my presentation and communication skills.
I have given a few talks for my oral communication class thus far, and most of the feedback I have received has revolved around my verbal delivery. I focus a lot on the content of my talks, but I have plenty of room to improve my verbal delivery. This is more of a note to myself, but I need to experiment more with variables like silence, intonation, duration, volume, and speed. The way I speak naturally doesn’t afford much contrast among statements, so I need to make a conscious effort to change that. The manner in which I present information is almost as important, if not equally important, as the content itself.
I also received feedback from my teammates in my engineering leadership class, and the overwhelming response was that I need to speak up more and be more confident. I’m actually already aware of my tendency to take a backseat role in the team activities, stepping up only when I see a clear need. However, I’m starting to realize that I can still make significant contributions to a team even when I’m not the designated leader. Especially now that I’m more familiar with my teammates, I shouldn’t be afraid of offering my own opinions and ideas. I shouldn’t be afraid of being judged.
I took my teammates’ feedback to heart when I led the team activity last Friday. I managed to step out of my shell and lead the team to successfully advocate a solution to our pretend CEO. There’s still room for improvement, of course, but I think I’m headed in the right direction.