Our presentation on democracy with reference to Marshall’s theory was, in essence, a failure.
Many things contributed to the presentation not being as well prepared and thought out as it should have been, but the factor of time topped the list. As a group, we did not have enough time, we did not closely follow the instructions in the module handbook, and we presented the topic with a focus on politics. The topic was democracy with reference to Marshall’s theory. Marshall’s theory is an economic theory, which popularized the market economy as a study of human behavior. This theory attempts to blend the theoretical, mathematical, and historical approaches to economics. Marshall tried to make his economic theory simple enough for any educated reader to comprehend by illustrating examples that are important in everyday life. Public speaking, to many, is one of life’s most terrifying events.
Personally, I am not good at giving presentations. Public speaking does not come easily for me, and I tend to get nervous when talking in front of large groups of people. This, coupled with the problems my group had with regards to time and the instructions, made for a presentation that was a complete failure. The first problem we had was the time restriction. Simply put, we did not have enough time due to assessment work load.
There was no time to put together a proper presentation. We did not have time to call each other or get together to correlate our information. Had we had more time, we could have slowed down and paid more attention to the quality of the presentation. This issue of time directly affected the quality of the presentation.
For example, the instructions in the module handbook would have been followed more closely has we had more time. We did our best to understand the instructions, but with the time constraint, we figured that we should just get started, not fully understanding the instructions. It was a case of “let’s get something put together, or else we won’t get credit for anything.” I would have liked, perhaps, and extra week to prepare for the presentation. All of the assignments I had came due relatively at the same time, and I just could not juggle all of the assignments I had. This caused some assignments to suffer, which is obvious with this presentation. We should have spent an hour on each minute of the presentation while preparing.
This includes researching, organizing, outlining, development, and rehearsing the speech. This would have insured that we were adequately prepared for the presentation, and would have insured that we followed the directions properly. We did not design our message properly.
The biggest mistake was presenting the topic with a focus on politics instead of what the instructions required. Our message was, flat out, wrong. This made the presentation pointless, and engaging the audience with a pointless presentation is relatively impossible. Simply put, we wasted the audience’s time with a presentation that was irrelevant. We did not inform, influence, or entertain the audience in the way we should have. We should have considered the instructions more carefully, because this was the entire point of the presentation.
Provided we had the correct information to present, one technique we could have used to engage the audience is storytelling. Instead of just stating facts, the telling of relevant stories would have been an effective and creative way to impart information. This would have stimulated the audience’s minds with imagery instead of just regurgitating information from a book.
We did not rehearse the presentation before we presented it. This was the most crucial part of the preparation that we simply skipped over. We did not go over smoothing out rough spots in the speech, opening and closing the presentation, or pacing and delivery. The opening and closing of the presentation were the most crucial parts that should have been paid attention to. We also did not have smooth transitions, which also was supposed to be a part of the preparation process.
The presentation would have also been better had we been more enthusiastic. I do not think any of us smiled throughout the entire presentation. It was kind of like, “just get up there and get it over with.” We did not put any energy into the presentation, and it suffered because of it. We should have also engaged effective visuals in our presentation. Since the most important audio-visual, the presenters, were not as effective as we would have liked to be, effective visuals in the form of handouts or computer slides would have been a nice touch. However, like most of the presentation, we just did not have enough time to put together effective visuals.
Effective handouts would have promoted long-term retention of the message we were trying to get across, while effective computer visuals would have enhanced the transmission of the message. Perhaps most of the fault lies with us and our priorities, which is ultimately the reason we ran out of preparation time. This presentation was clearly beaten out of our agendas and each person had an assignment they though was more important than this assignment. However, this is also partially due to the rushed society we live in today, where we are forced to place priorities instead of simply getting everything done at once. While blame can be placed on all members of our group, every one of us probably feels we were justified in the choices we made.
We did what we thought was the best we could do under the circumstances. Speaking to an audience through the form of a presentation would have been an extremely effective learning tool if we had more time to prepare. However, if we had focused more with the time we did have, and make it a point to get together to prepare, or even talk on the phone, the presentation would have been ten-times better. The fault lies with us, ultimately, because we chose our priorities, and the presentation, unfortunately, was not too high on the list. In the future, I will make sure that I give more attention to my presentations.- “Marshall on Method, Alfred Marshall Theory”, 2008, History of Economic Theory and Thought [online] available at http://www.economictheories.org/2008/08/alfred-marshall-theory-marshall.html