Our "Teach the Class" group consisted of members, who, for the most part, know each other well. This familiarity was both an asset and a liability in preparing for our class presentation. We were able to communicate with ease in discussions because of our familiarity, and felt comfortable as a group when we presented to the class. However, we got sidetracked and off course at times when we met in our Breeze sessions and in our group get-together prior to the presentation. This was a new experience for me, as most presentations I have been involved in have been solo presentations or group presentations with people I don't know very well. The dynamics for this presentation were very different than what I have become used to, but I think that our group worked well together, cohesively forming a successful team.
During this group process, I learned that I am definitely a solid outline type of person when it comes to presenting. This has been drilled into my head in presentation courses, and I have seen the positive effects of this type of preparation in both school, and at my office, where I have done several presentations to groups. A strong outline is required to keep everyone on the same page, and to help the individual or group stay on course. Each group member may have their own style, so, as long as each one is on the same page and pulls their weight, the project is likely to be a success. In our "Teach the Class" presentation, I feel that this was definitely the case. There was a trust between group members that each would do their part effectively, and that was something new to me. Doing presentations with people whose work habits you are unfamiliar with creates a situation where trust takes time to develop. Having been in situations where fellow students didn't carry their weight in a team effort, I have learned that clearly stated communication and accountability need to happen amongst all group members.
As far as strengths, I feel like I have the ability to shift the group's focus and flow of discussion back to the points at hand when necessary (when the group gets sidetracked). With a group I am very familiar with, this becomes a little more difficult. However, reminding others what is at stake has proved to be a good tool for me to use in previous group presentations. One weakness (or possible stength) is to just go ahead and do my part, and then present it to the group when communications stall. It seems that having something tangible to critique moves the process forward from an ideological state to a state of actuality, and the project becomes "real". This helps encourage others that "doing" is actually just as important as "planning" the project.
The group process definitely entails having faith and trust in your group members. Priscilla was the only group member that I had to develop new trust with (since I did not know her well), and the trust didn't take long to happen. Her introduction delivery in our presentation cemented my trust in her, as I thought she pulled it off flawlessly. Thanks, Priscilla!
One lack of attention to detail that occured in our presentation was our lack of preparing for possible technical difficulties. Dave did a great job of being the project coordinator, and Dan was great as a team lead. Both of these guys kept the communication lines open and flowing amongst our team members. However, we did have some technological glitches, and this may have been prevented had we gotten together and formally practiced the presentation prior to the actual presentation. This type of preparation helped make previous group efforts that I have been involved with more successful. Unfortunately, time and schedule conflicts prevented our group from being able to do a "trial run" and foresee any technological glitches that might occur. We discussed "ethos" a lot in our presentation, and this faux pas, unfortunately, did not help us establish ethos during our presentation.
Posted by at November 10, 2005 8:36 PM
Overall, I thought this to be a great experience. I enjoy everything I learn when dealing with people, and this experience was no different. I hope to reinforce positives from the experience and improve upon the shortcomings. After all, striving for improvement is something we all have to do as members of the human race!