Women in Data Science (WiDS) Pune 2019 First Pre-Conference Event!

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Is knowledge of a particular subject, alone, sufficient to deliver impactful presentations? Why do we need presentation skills? Why are people becoming more and more aware towards improving their soft skills? What is the difference between skills and knowledge?

If you don’t have the knowledge, you are definitely going to fail. But if you have knowledge, that does not guarantee success. You need to have skills for that.

Ms. Sucheta Dhere, was the trainer for High Impact Presentations, WiDS Pune 2019 Ambassador and an industry professional with 21+ years of global experience in technology, software programming started the workshop by explaining the difference between skills and knowledge.

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Tools, Techniques, and Methods used for Training

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We were explained what tools, techniques and methods will be used for training, how will the training be imparted and what will the audience gain at the end.

VARK Model of Learning

VARK stands for – Visual, Auditory, Read & Write, Kinesthetic i.e. learning by doing.

VARK model

Visual learners, as the name suggests, learn better by visualizing information. This information may be in the form of charts or graphics showing relationships between different ideas.

Auditory learners prefer to hear information and recite it aloud to remember it.

Reading/Writing learners learn best when they interact with text.

Kinesthetic learners are experiential learners who prefer hands-on sessions, and learn best by doing. It is the fastest and most effective way of learning.

It is essential to know what type of learner you are. There are psychometric tests available online to know your learning style.

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70-20-10 Rule

This workshop was a kinaesthetics based workshop with 10% theory, 20% learning by observation and feedback, and 70% learning by doing.

Why 70-20-10?

The 70-20-10 model is a learning and development model that corresponds to a breakdown of effective learning approaches. 70% of people learn more effectively through experience- i.e. by doing/practicing, 20% through exposure- especially feedback and observation, and 10% through education- i.e theory or classes.

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Model of Competence

How do you know when you have acquired a particular skill?

There are four stages in the model of competence, starting from unawareness of the concept to mastery of the skill.

  1. Unconscious Incompetence- In this, the learner is unaware of the skill gap that he/she has.
  2. Conscious Incompetence- This is the stage where the learning begins. In this, the learner becomes aware of the skill gap that exists and realizes the need to acquire that skill.
  3. Conscious Competence – In this, the learner learns the previously unknown skills. However, he/she does so consciously – practicing, thinking and working on it.
  4. Unconscious Competence- The learner now has enough experience in the skill that he/she can perform it so easily and even unconsciously.

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Johari Window Model

How can you improve your skills to be self-aware through feedback?

The Johari Window represents information about a person in relation to his/her group from four perspectives. The Johari Window model can be developed through self-awareness and understanding within a group.

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The Open Area corresponds to what is known by a person about him/herself and also by others. The blind area is what is not known to the person him/herself but known to others. The hidden area is what the person knows about him/herself that others do not know. Lastly, the unknown area is what is unknown by the person about him/herself and is also unknown by others.

When we seek feedback, our blind spot reduces.

Because of the importance of soft skills, empathy, behavior and co-operation, this model has become more relevant these days.

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High-Impact Presentations 

While planning for presentations, it is necessary to keep the following in mind – Structure, Content, and Delivery.

How to structure your presentation?

Structure your presentation as Opening -> Body – > Closing.

Effective Opening

  • Greet your audience warmly
  • Brand yourself – Punch your name by finding some association, so that your audience will remember you.
  • Discuss the agenda briefly
  • Get your audience introduced

Body of the presentation

  • Involve the audience
  • Empathize

Effective Closing

  • Summarize the entire presentation
  • Keep a Q&A session where the audience can clarify their doubts
  • A call to action

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How to focus on high-impact delivery?

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Be yourself

The first sign of greatness is when a man does not attempt to look and act great.

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Be absorbed by your subject

Center your interest on what you are about to say. Know your subject better than your listeners know it, and you have nothing to fear.

“Get your principles right,” said Napoleon, “and the rest is a matter of detail.”

You need to know your topic thoroughly beforehand. It isn’t just your knowledge that will be visible to all, but the way you present it. Therefore, it is imperative to have a combination of soft skills along with hard skills.

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Emphasize, as the importance of a sentence changes

As Dale Carnegie has said in his book, The Art of Public Speaking – “The ideal speaker makes his big words stand out like mountain peaks; his unimportant words are submerged like stream-beds.

If every sentence and word is spoken at the same tone of voice, the speech will get boring and dull. Bring out the important ideas through emphasis. Comparison and contrast between ideas are also effectively brought out through emphasis.

Also, shun the monotone. Change the pitch to emphasize and compel attention. Suggest the gravity of a situation through such a variation in pitch. A change in pace is equally efficient, so as to avoid monotony.

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Influence

Estimate the probable knowledge of your audience. Set forth a matter so plainly that it cannot be misunderstood. To influence, you must be able to see your subject clearly and comprehensively, and to make your audience see it as you do. Clearness, precision, accuracy, unity, truth, and necessity, these must be the constant standards by which you test the efficiency of your expositions. 

Describe your content such as to draw a picture in the minds of the listeners. Story-telling is the key here. Recite incidents, facts occurrences in such a manner as to produce a desired effect. 

Not only narration but suggestion and argument also play an important role in influencing your crowd. Suggestion means moving people to action and dominating their minds with your thoughts. Argumentation is producing conviction by means of reasoning. Convert your arguments to the listeners’ advantage to persuade.

When immediate action or persuasion is desired, suggestion is more efficacious than argument—when both are judiciously mixed, the effect is irresistible.

 

 

 

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