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Confidence is the key
Jun 19, 2005 12:23 PM 3023 Views
(Updated Jun 22, 2005 10:52 AM)

Seminars are rather tough than delivering a speech. This review talks about delivering a seminar.


When I started writing this review, I saw in the hints section on the top (by MS) that we should share only our true personal experience over here, so I would start this review by writing one of my experiences and would conclude with some tips/advice........


What is a Seminar?


Seminar is similar to the speech in the sense that you have to speak on the dais, on the mike, in front of the audience. It is different from the speech in the sense that all the people sitting in front of you are either experts on the topic on which you would be speaking, or atleast have some knowledge of the topic and they would ask you questions after you finish delivering your seminar. Thus, its not like speech, where you can escape after saying anything you wish, you have to answer here................


My Personal Experience


First experience is always unforgettable. The first international conference I had attended was in Japan, it was a world level conference, where I was supposed to deliver a seminar in front of the scientists from about 150 countries, I had just came out of the college after completing my M.Tech. and (gulp!) I was nervous...........


My seminar was on the third day of the conference and the first two days, I dedicated in attending the seminars of other scientists from across the Globe. I had seen big scientists shivering on the dias when they were fired with questions, Boy!!! this wasn't an easy task...............


Finally the doom's day arrived, the morning on which I was supposed to deliver my first international seminar !!! Though I had delivered few seminars in the college and in some National level events, but this was entirely different, the people, the hi-tech facilities, the ambience, everything was different and the most important thing, all the strangers in the audience, not a single known person.............


So, I prayed to God in my hotel room, wore my usual formal suit with my lucky red tie, kept my lucky pen in the pocket, practiced my presentation and was on the way to the conference hall. Someone had advised me to keep the picture of God, Ganesha in my file during the presentation, so I followed the advise. In the conference hall, I was waiting for my turn when I came to know that it would be after lunch. Quickly finished my lunch, went to the top floor of the building to give the final practicing touch to the presentation and WHAT!!! I felt as if the building was shaking............I thought coz this is a tall building and I am on the top floor, so I might be feeling as if its shaking, then someone told me its an EARTHQUAKE !!! (Earthquakes are very common in Japan)...........I rushed to my presentation room downstairs..............in just couple of minutes the building stopped shaking and everything was normal........it was just a minor earthquake, nothing to worry about.......


So, everyone gathered in the conference hall, experts in the field from almost every part of the world. The session Chairman - to lighten the atmosphere (little tensed due to quake) - started asking the speakers their age - Mr Jeremiah, how old are you, the answer was 52, Mr Takai - 54, like this all of them answered in the range of 50 to 60, and then my turn came, Mr Mahesh Khetan - how old are you - Sir, I am 25 .......................he he he he... the whole audience bursted into laughter............yeah I was the youngest person in the whole world over there........the events did a lot to damage my confidence, though absolutely unintentional..........


Finally, my name was announced, I stood up, gave my presentation disc to the LCD projector operator, walked to the dais, kept my file and pen on the podium, tested the lazor pointer with which I was supposed to point on the screen and started speaking..............Good Afternoon, Mr Chairman Sir, and all the distinguished personalities sitting over here.............I would be speaking on.............


The slides were projected on the screen one by one and I went on explaining in depth using the lazor pointer, managing to finish within the alloted time period of 10 minutes. And then started the question & answer session, so the Americans, Chinese and Japanese started firing me with questions and I started answering them one by one. Somehow, the confidence started building up stronger and stronger inside me, and I started inviting questions, encouraging them to ask more and more questions.............the question session lasted for more than 30 min, though the alloted time for it was only 15 min...........WOW!!! the presentation was successful and was well appreciated by the audience, when I walked down the dais, lots n lots of them congratulated me - some of them real big shots in the industry...................


Yeah at the end confidence was the key to success, the incidence taught me, never lose your confidence while delivering the seminar, despite the circumstances.................Next part is a story, when I was flooded with offers in the same conference, from various parts of the world and finally accepted the offer from Chennai, India and working at Chennai since then..............


The Tips


So here are some of the tips for delivering an effective seminar:


# Prepare yourself well, practice a lot before the seminar.........


# Practice by actually speaking and recording your speech/seminar, listen to the recorded speech carefully, this would do a world of good to improve yourself.........again record after improving, again listen, again record, again listen, again improve..............do it unless you are fully satisfied........


# Then make others listen to the final recorded speech, ask their views, again improve............


# If possible, practice with the help of a projector, in front of some friends, check your timings...........


# Work on when to pause, what to speak on each slide, the order of the slides, after all you dont have to read the whole slide, but to explain it............


# Forget about who is sitting in front of you........when you are speaking.......its only you who should be in your mind.............


# Pray to God, meditate if necessary one day before the seminar..........


# Think of probable questions which could be asked on your presentation, make a list of them with the answers............no one else can think of more questions on your presentation than yourself..........


# If you are ready with all this, you would gain a lot of confidence, which becomes the key to your success.................


# Still, if you go blank at some point during your presentation and do not think of speaking anything, just skip that particular slide or the particular point and proceed immediately to the next slide...........if your audience wish, you can always come back to it during Q&A session.......


This story is 5 years old now, after this I have attended lots of international conferences in various countries in varied circumstances, but this first one gave a world of confidence to me.........something which still helps me in my career..........


Thanks a lot for your time, please rate and comment on this review - would do a lot for my improvement


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