My Experience Presenting a Talk on Communication Skills at the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Region F Conference

By:

I was excited and honored to be selected as a speaker on a panel with three other professional women from the Northeast SWE Region F Conference at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, which ran from February 26 to February 28, 2016. The title of our panel was, “Say What!?  Mastering Verbal and Non-Verbal Communications.”  I decided to present on content from my MBS class, “Principles of Communication and Leadership.” 

As I learned in the class, preparation is everything, and it defines your presentation.  That is why I gave myself plenty of time to prepare the right content for each of my slides.  Also, with only 10 minutes allotted to my portion of the presentation, I needed to make sure my information was precise and my message was clear.  I arrived an hour and a half early to get a feel for the room where I would be presenting; which turned out to be an auditorium.  It was a huge space, and to be honest, a bit intimidating.  I took a deep breath and found a secluded space where I rehearsed my presentation six more times in front of a mirror while practicing “powerful poses;” which I learned from Amy Cuddy’s famous TED Talk on how to feel confident.  I asked myself, “Why shouldn’t I feel confident?”  I knew my content and I was prepared.  So I decided to have fun and treated the talk as if I was giving a TED Talk.  

I realized that my own preparation for the event demonstrated the principles of communication that I wanted to highlight in my talk. Preparation and cultivating and projecting confidence are key ingredients to positive communication. In the end, the talk went well and it was a tremendous experience because I was able to be in front of the audience in a conference, and give back what I have learned over the years.  Again, I was honored and excited for this opportunity and I was thrilled to embrace it.