Hi all! Hopefully you all enjoyed the long bank holiday weekend, especially now free from exams! (Did someone say Jesters’ Cider Festival? No? How about Common People? Oceana?!) Whatever you did we hope you enjoyed it!
Continuing with our reflective tone of late, here is a summary from Andrea on the final session of module MANG1017
On the 12th of May we took part in the last session of our first year at University of Southampton. Exactly, took part, not went to. This is because as all other sessions MANG1017, it was an incredibly practical one. This time around, we tried to understand the importance of and tried to develop presentation skills. Leigh Johnstone from Fluid Motion Theater ran the workshop. It was not the first time Leigh came to our university, and most of the students who had been to his previous session were enthusiastic about him being back.
Overall we had a great afternoon, which definitely got my head, and the ones of my peers, off of the upcoming exams. It all kicked off with what seemed an incredibly easy exercise. By sitting down and looking at Leigh, as a group we had to count up to 30, but if 2 people called the same number at the same time, we had to start over. In the end, we managed to count up to 12. It was incredibly tough, and both times I shouted out a number we had to start over. This was to show that to present it is not all about what you say or when you say it, there are components such as body language that influence a presentation even more than words. Then we went onto a second exercise, in which there would be a student leading dance moves, and we had to follow. A second student would have to identify who the lead was. The first time the lead was caught, while in the second round, after some more practice, we all understood how eye contact with the lead dancer would give it away, so we all looked in different directions and just followed whoever could actually follow the leader. When one of the leads started dancing Asereje I remember everybody was genuinely enjoying this exercise.
Three other exercises were carried out in that session. The first one consisted of us having conversation with our neighbor and we had to somehow put the words given to us by Leigh in the conversation without him realizing. The whole point of this exercise was to understand how to put emphasis on words, and to further understand body language – i.e. if my friend was not looking at me while saying a particular word, I knew that word would be the one I had to guess. The second exercise was to showcase confidence in front of a group. At first a student had to go to the front and stand there for 60 seconds without saying anything. Then a second student went down there and he had to say something. To us, the second 60 seconds went by a lot quicker, since the guy at the bottom was hilarious in what he said and how he acted. Last but not least, Leigh gave us a paragraph to read in groups, and whenever there was some sort of punctuation we had to do an action, either jump, move sideways or take a deep breath before we could carry on. At first we thought it was hilarious, but when he explained how taking your time while giving a speech is fundamental for the audience to fully understand what you are saying, we all changed our opinions on it.
This has been perhaps the best way to end the year. A very practical session, where everybody engaged. A way for us to be together with our friends and learn at the same time. This is what I will take away from my first year of University, and I’m sure all my peers have too.