Why do they make us do so many presentations

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Anonymous #1
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I get there is a case to be made that being good at presenting encapsulates all kinds of valuable life skills, like the confidence to articulate yourself in front of people, think on the spot etc but now that I’m in my third year of university, the extent to which presenting is pushed I feel is very unnecessary.

I’m sure that it’s just my course (biology) and uni that seems to have this obsession with presentations because even throughout second year, I was doing a presentation on a near weekly basis and now in third year I have an entire module dedicated to “presentation skills” which to me is a fat waste of my money and time on this degree.

They say that you get better at things the more you do them and while this is definitely applicable to most things, it isn’t for me when it comes to presentations. They make me incredibly nervous, I get heart palpitations before every presentation (literally since my first ever presentation in year 3 or something) And I fret over each one for weeks before.

Do you think that presenting is such an important skill to have?
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Bio 7
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A presentation I had to do in third year of uni caused me to screw up the year, it's a whole thing. I despise presenting with a strong passion and would rather be under a bus than give one.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Bio 7)
A presentation I had to do in third year of uni caused me to screw up the year, it's a whole thing. I despise presenting with a strong passion and would rather be under a bus than give one.
For real. If anything they really shouldn’t be grading presentations because it then becomes a test of public speaking skill/confidence as oppose to actual knowledge about the degree that you’re studying and as somebody who is really shy and doesn’t like being in front of crowds, I inevitably get not so great grades.
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Bio 7
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(Original post by Anonymous)
For real. If anything they really shouldn’t be grading presentations because it then becomes a test of public speaking skill/confidence as oppose to actual knowledge about the degree that you’re studying and as somebody who is really shy and doesn’t like being in front of crowds, I inevitably get not so great grades.
The people that are fine with their appearance, voice and presence of people listening and watching are more or less as well off as the people that are comfortable with those aspects. It's a negligible difference.

However those with issues presenting not just their knowledge and ideas but themselves are at an unfair disadvantage when they'd rather be in an induced coma than talk in front of people. Any time we had to do presentations I could only think of how nice a coma would be, relaxing and importantly private, no spectators. Such an unfair task to do.

Maybe there is a good reason for doing them but I don't care to see it I hate it with a very strong passion and will never accept them. Nobody could give me a convincing argument so I hope nobody tries, it's a waste of typing.
Last edited by Bio 7; 3 weeks ago
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Krood
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Normally I would agree its a bit of a weak offering, but actually in your case I think it is good they're making you do presentations, precisely because you are so fearful of them.

You conquer fear by doing a thing repeatedly. It's good to get out of your comfort zone. This is like having your own personal trainer forcing you to do a painful routine.

Day to day workplaces are usually largely about communication. Communicating yourself clearly gets you liked, respected, noticed, promoted. If its a weakness then exercising that muscle is time well spent for you.
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Katzen
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Listen here boi you're gonna need to train your b*tch a*s on how to give a presentation because youngsters nowadays can't go a second without "uh" "Um" "basically" so I suggest you savour the moment or else I will do everything in my power to sign you up to The Apprentice where you can proceed to make yourself a laughing stock in front of the boomer CEOs as you fumble overusing the wrong pen colour when highlighting what's on the board.
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Ramipril
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Depending on what your future career entails, public speaking and presentations may end up beimg something that happens regularly. Make the most of the practice now I guess.
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CTLeafez
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While I’m not particularly for or against individuals presentations, I have a deep hatred for group presentations and assignments...
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Anonymous #2
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Ugh, I know how you feel. I’ve only just started Year 13, so university must be far more daunting, but we’ve been back for 3 weeks and we’ve already had to do 4 presentations! I don’t really understand it because they’re for History and Sociology, when it’s not like I’m going to be presenting a PowerPoint for my final grade. Anyway, because I get so anxious doing them, I’m considering not even applying to university.

That said, I’ve realised that I may feel nauseous at the time and want nothing more than for the carpet to swallow me up or to crawl to the corner, but I promise it will get easier after each presentation. I often feel relieved and somewhat proud afterwards, even if I stuttered on my words or sounded hoarse, as it takes a lot of guts to present, even for the most extroverted people.

So, I guess it’s key to remember that everyone in your seminar will be feeling just as fearful as you are, regardless as to whether they’re good at putting on a front. If you have time, try practising the presentation in your room a few days before since you'll turn up prepared and hopefully the words will come to you more naturally.

However, if it really, really is affecting your health and making you severely unhappy, I’d definitely talk to your tutor or whoever leads the session, or perhaps even consider whether it’s the right place for you. Good luck!
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Anonymous #2
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Also, apologies for not answering your main question. While I hate presenting with a passion, I do believe doing so earns us valuable skills. As aforementioned, it allows you to communicate freely with your colleagues in the workplace and to speak articulately, perhaps if in a meeting or even an interview. I guess it’s to do with deferred gratification - suffer now, gradually get better at it and soon you’ll be a natural!
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Joinedup
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(Original post by CTLeafez)
While I’m not particularly for or against individuals presentations, I have a deep hatred for group presentations and assignments...
This prepares you for the world of work by teaching you that some people give a **** and some people are idlers... and that the idlers will be given credit for the work done by the **** givers.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I have an entire module dedicated to “presentation skills” which to me is a fat waste of my money and time on this degree.
Well there's a sensible sounding argument for teaching some 'work skills' in unis, it's not clear where it should stop... but it's got to stop somewhere otherwise there'd be no room for the actual subject matter of the course.
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Missusv
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As a psychology student I only had to do presentations in my first year and still don't really know what the purpose was. It doesn't show knowledge just rehearsal skills. I would see what percentage of your marks the presentation contributes to your overall module grade its probably something like 20 in which case don't get too stressed about it as you can bring your grade up with your written assignments.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Krood)
Normally I would agree its a bit of a weak offering, but actually in your case I think it is good they're making you do presentations, precisely because you are so fearful of them.

You conquer fear by doing a thing repeatedly. It's good to get out of your comfort zone. This is like having your own personal trainer forcing you to do a painful routine.

Day to day workplaces are usually largely about communication. Communicating yourself clearly gets you liked, respected, noticed, promoted. If its a weakness then exercising that muscle is time well spent for you.
This is what I was talking about in my initial post; although it’s valid (in most cases) to say that doing things repeatedly will make you more comfortable for me, this has never been the case for me with presentations. Ever. I have been doing presentations consistently since I was 8-9, I am now 20 and hate them just as much as I did over a decade ago, so clearly this is not a muscle that can be exercised. They still give me painful anxiety.

I communicate and present myself well; but there is a stark difference between doing so between colleagues and being up on a stage in front of 60 people. Someone mentioned below that workplace meetings are common, but everyone that I know who has entered the workplace has said that meetings generally only involve 5-7 people unless you are in a managerial profession, or a profession which in the first place, specifically requires a lot of meetings which many do not and they are not held regularly. Definitely not multiple times in a single week.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Katzen)
Listen here boi you're gonna need to train your b*tch a*s on how to give a presentation because youngsters nowadays can't go a second without "uh" "Um" "basically" so I suggest you savour the moment or else I will do everything in my power to sign you up to The Apprentice where you can proceed to make yourself a laughing stock in front of the boomer CEOs as you fumble overusing the wrong pen colour when highlighting what's on the board.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Missusv)
As a psychology student I only had to do presentations in my first year and still don't really know what the purpose was. It doesn't show knowledge just rehearsal skills. I would see what percentage of your marks the presentation contributes to your overall module grade its probably something like 20 in which case don't get too stressed about it as you can bring your grade up with your written assignments.
Exactly, I’m in university to get my degree based on my knowledge not how loudly I project my voice in front of 80 people.

Since the entire module is based on presentations, it is unfortunately a much larger portion of the grade. Thankfully, there ARE written parts albeit small.
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Anonymous #3
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Maybe you should give module feedback saying it's a waste of time and money?
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Krood
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(Original post by Anonymous)
although it’s valid (in most cases) to say that doing things repeatedly will make you more comfortable for me, this has never been the case for me with presentations. Ever. I have been doing presentations consistently since I was 8-9, I am now 20 and hate them just as much as I did over a decade ago, so clearly this is not a muscle that can be exercised. They still give me painful anxiety.
Are you really saying that you are no better at giving presentations now than if you had never done it and were told now to do it for the first time? Do you realize how unlikely that sounds?
You know you best, but it would be utterly bizarre to have zero improvement, you would be a massive outlier, so its hard not to read that very skeptically. It does sound to me like fear is making you think / speak a bit irrationally on the matter.

If, say, you did a presentation every single morning in some kind of bootcamp, I am fairly certain you would soon notice a huge improvement within a week or two (assuming a well-intentioned audience giving good feedback).

This is what it's like to become a teacher for the first time. Terrifying for the first few days, but within a month talking to a room full of people becomes as mundane as chilling with an acquaintance on a sofa.
Last edited by Krood; 3 weeks ago
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Maybe you should give module feedback saying it's a waste of time and money?
I definitely will lol!
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Krood)
Are you really saying that you are no better at giving presentations now than if you had never done it and were told now to do it for the first time? Do you realize how unlikely that sounds?
You know you best, but it would be utterly bizarre to have zero improvement, you would be a massive outlier, so its hard not to read that very skeptically. It does sound to me like fear is making you think / speak a bit irrationally on the matter.

If, say, you did a presentation every single morning in some kind of bootcamp, I am fairly certain you would soon notice a huge improvement within a week or two (assuming a well-intentioned audience giving good feedback).

This is what it's like to become a teacher for the first time. Terrifying for the first few days, but within a month talking to a room full of people becomes as mundane as chilling with an acquaintance on a sofa.
To be completely honest with you, I can say for sure that I get the same terror and anxiety before a presentation now that I did 7 years ago doing a roleplay in front of my drama class. My performance is never better in one presentation than the last and even then I think that you would have to consider what it would mean to be "better." If it's the delivery of my speech, then no. I stuttered through all of my sentences when I was 13 and I do the exact same thing now. If it's to be how I view presenting? No, I was impossibly anxious about them then and am still the same way.

The thing that I am most vexed about is how presenting is apparently so important that they're willing to let the fact that I struggle to raise my voice or speak in front of 70+ people without stuttering, bring down the grade for my entire degree.
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