Presentation skills workshop has great turnout

The international department at Fanshawe College is continually coming up with innovative ways to engage students studying on campus from abroad.

On Wednesday, March 17, theatre arts students were called upon from their downtown campus to share presentation skills they developed as acting students within our community.

The presentation skills workshop had eagerly awaiting international and post-secondary students experience what it takes to give audiences an unforgettable presentation — minus the typical nerve jitters.

Shy at first, the international students gained more confidence as the two hour workshop progressed and individually embraced what they had learned from the workshop.

Shortly after, students were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and revealed what they believe is the problem with proper presentation skills.

Tuyen Nguyen, a graduating ESL student and future marketing hopeful at Fanshawe, expressed her personal concerns for speaking in public.

“I find presentations difficult...and they make me nervous,” she admitted.

Adding this workshop has helped her by being able to associate with other international students who are in the same position as she is presently in.

“I will recommend this (workshop) to other students...definitely,” Nguyen said.

Living in Canada for a short nine months from her native Vietnam, Nguyen remains optimistic anything is possible with the right attitude, she mentioned.

Beverly Haggerty, ESL technologist at Fanshawe, demonstrated the workshop, and even though it was not part of students' curriculum, was a great success.

This is the first time a presentation skills workshop was held for post-grad and ESL students, and the theatre arts students as well, she said.

The students did very well, she added.

As the workshop progressed, the comfort ability of all students involved became evident through speech and activities they were asked to perform in front of their peers.

Theatre arts students emphasized the importance of confidence when giving a speech to an audience.

Knowing your subject and being able to present it well is a must, they explained.

Francesca Ranalli-Atherton, professor for the theatre arts program emphasized how important it is for individuals who are presenting to remember that “you cannot control what people are going to think” about your presentation.

Haggerty is hopeful the presentation skills workshop will be made available for students in international and post-grad programs in the future.

“In Canada you have a lot of opportunity...if you practice speaking English,” added Nguyen.

It is seminars such as this one that help make it all that more possible for internationals and post-grad students.