TED Talk Reflective Paper

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    Billy KennedyDecember 12, 2013Dr. Erin Dietel-McLaughlin

    Multimedia Project TED TalkReflective Paper

    Although my TED Talk presentation worked off the same research and

    thesis as my research essay, I was surprised as to what degree I had to tailor

    information to make it engaging, and more personal for the audience. During the

    preliminary stages of forming an outline for my presentation, I found my

    presentations content was very similar to that of my essay. Seeing as the essayand an oral presentation are two different mediums, I knew there was something

    I could do to enhance my assertions in a presentation setting. Many strong

    supporting arguments from my research essay were included, such as my

    examples on Golden Rice and B.t. corn. When it came to addressing the gene

    therapy side of my discussion, I thought this would be a great opportunity to

    make the presentation more personal with the audience, rather than just stating

    the findings I made in my research essay. After some further searching, I came

    across the story of a young girl named Jordan who has lived with cystic fibrosis.

    Featured in a documentary film called 65 Roses , I went on to tell the class

    Jordans story and how gene therapy has continually increased her life

    expectancy.

    Furthermore, during the thanksgiving break, I took a trip to the South

    Bend Farmers Market to talk to produce sellers abo ut their perspectives on

    organic and genetically modified foods. Expecting to hear their perspectives on

    the benefits of organic foods, I was completely surprised when they spoke highly

    of genetically modified foods, which ended up supporting my thesis. I felt the

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    addition of my experience at the South Bend Farmers Market supplemented my

    researched information well, as it not only described to the audience some of my

    personal experiences and discoveries, but it was also relevant to them as this

    was very close to home; the conversations I had with these stand owners were

    only two miles south of where I gave the presentation. I feel these changes from

    my research essay not only allowed me to engage the audience more, but it also

    allowed me accentuate how genetic engineering can be used as a humanitarian

    tool.

    Watching my recorded self giving my presentation was a great learning

    experience. I had rehearsed the speech many times before the day of the

    presentation and felt prepared, but the recording showed me that there were

    areas I would still like to improve in. My hardest challenge in preparing this

    presentation was fitting it in less than ten minutes. Because of this, I found

    myself speaking quickly, and sometimes I felt points were slightly rushed. Yet, I

    feel my interaction with the audience made for an engaging talk. To my surprise,

    I actually timed it perfectly on the day with nine minutes and fifty-nine seconds!

    Looking at myself speak, I now realize how much I am moving around and using

    verbal communication to interact with the listeners.

    Overall, I felt my talk went very well as the audience seemed to be

    attentive and engaged with what I had to say. Of course, there were instances

    that I felt I could have executed better, but for the most part, everything went the

    way I had rehearsed it. To further improve my public speaking skills, I think it is

    important to continually be assessing oneself in this manner by actually

    watching oneself give a speech. This way, I have been able to identify many

    strengths and areas for improvement for future talks I may give.