Blog Post 7 – A Review on Public Speaking
In hopes to better myself in the area of public speaking, I attended the colloquium “Solar Wind – Magnetosphere – Planetary Core Coupling at Mercury” hosted by James Slavin and the Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences department in the JILA auditorium. In addition to listening to the content of the presentation, I tried to study the strategies used by the presenter in order to keep his audience interested and convinced.
It seemed to me that the purpose of Mr. Slavin to inform his audience, which consisted of mostly graduate students, about a more specific topic in space research: Mercury’s Magnetosphere. Mr. Slavin was able to establish his credibility fairly easily given his history in space research and used that credibility to direct his talk to the given audience. In other words, as an average undergraduate college student not involved much in this area of study, a handful of the presentation went right over my head.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, I tried to see what the presenter did physically to create a successful talk. Slavin used a Powerpoint presentation that looked professionally done. The slides weren’t too wordy and involved various diagrams and figures to support his research. He also used body language which gave me the impression that he was comfortable in this environment. As a result, this created a convincing presentation and aided to my belief that he knows this topic very well.
All in all, this presentation was very traditional. Although it was meant to be a colloquium, it felt as if the audience was supposed to agree with the presenter in the end. Small exchanges of views were thrown out into the air by a few of the assumed-to-be graduate student audience members but all views were just formed to be additions and agreements to the original research by Slavin.
When it came to a presentation on recent research in this field, it seemed that Slavin was confident and involved. His talk was a traditional presentation and followed much of the standard procedures to create a successful public presentation. Although I don’t think the seminar/colloquium aspect was fully achieved, I still think I was able to pinpoint strategies used by Slavin to interest and convince his audience including tone, body language, and technology that established confidence and credibility.