So far, this month has been all about improving my presentation skills! Presentations are something that many of us do not enjoy. It is something that from the beginning of my university course I was determined to combat. When I say combat, I mean the realistic goal is to not go tomato face. It is definitely something that comes with practice and something that I have always avoided when possible. At the beginning of my placement I was asked to identify one of my areas of weakness that I wished to improve upon. Presentation skills was top on my list. Subsequently, me and the other coordinator were given the task to present a mock pitch to corporations about the Field Evaluation Programme. We presented this to the staff and volunteers in the office. It was a really valuable exercise as we were provided with on the spot questions and feedback on ways we could improve and what went well. I think it actually went better than expected!
Last Friday me and my co-coordinator had an individual debrief with one of the volunteers. We conducted the debrief and it went smoothly, it was interesting to hear about their experience doing the programme. Following this, on the weekend we had the final group debrief with the volunteers. This was also a great event to learn more about the value that each volunteer got from the Programme and what challenges were faced to further improve for next year’s programme. Each volunteer did a short presentation about their visits to GlobalGiving partners. Me and the other coordinator also gave a brief presentation about our reflections on the coordination from the office. We discussed what we have learnt as individuals during the time coordinating the programme. This included skills such as:
- Task management skills
- Interview skills
- Management of people
- Writing skills
- Critical thinking
- Digital communications
The list goes on! It is often not until you sit down and compose a presentation that you reflect on how much you have actually acquired in such a short amount of time.
Finally, I am ashamed to admit that yesterday I got lost trying to locate Westminster Abbey. I ended up having to ask a guard, who rather blatantly pointed out that I was at the houses of parliament when I asked how to get into Westminster abbey. To be fair, I had never been before and it was dark. I blame Googlemaps. I was at Westminster Abbey to attend an oration by Lord Evans of Weardale, the former Head of MI5. The oration was entitled ‘Secret Service? National Security in an Age of Open Information’ and the main topic discussed was the relationship between intelligence services and the media.