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Horizon

My Winter Unit Journey

ATS 2910 : Professional and academic presentation skills

Leadership Presentation

Looking back at my time in the ATS 2910 course at Monash, it's been a game-changer. This course redefined how I see and do presentations, while also equipping me with a robust communication toolkit; each module's impact will be further detailed in my subsequent reflections.

Rehearsal

Module 1 :

Being Seen, Being Heard!

Reflection

This module felt like a lively yoga session. The icebreaker activities were fun, and so was Jonno! 

 

A significant component of this module was cultivating a brave space, urging us to embrace discomfort, and fostering unity within the group.

Additionally, he also shed light on team dynamics and non-verbal communication, exploring how team relationships can be portrayed through position, stance, gesture, and vocals, broadening our understanding of interpersonal connections.

Paper
Brown Paper

Records

I learned that doing warmup exercises such as yawning, lip trills, and forceful vowel sounds helped with making our voice stronger when presenting. Understanding the importance of a solid stancemanaging proximity to the audience, and the significance of pausing to breathe were some key takeaways for me.

Country Flags

Module 2 :

Intercultural Module 

Then there was the intercultural module, led by the brilliant Laura. This was a deep dive into the concepts of identity and culture. It encouraged me to think critically about my identity, appreciate cultural differences, and learn to communicate effectively with diverse individuals.

Laura's teachings on identity resonated deeply with me. The idea that our identities are intersectional and context-dependent was a revelation. It made me reflect on the different parts of my personality, how they change in different environments, and how I can embrace or resist these parts.

I've come to see identity as a dynamic process, constantly evolving in response to our actions and the world around us, thanks to the key terms associated with identity - iterative, performative, relational, and reflexive.

The module was a journey of self-discovery. I learned that culture is more than geography or ethnicity; it's a product and a process, constantly changing and shaping our worldviews, perceptions, beliefs, values, attitudes, and identities. The iceberg model of culture, with its visible and hidden elements, was a powerful metaphor that deepened my understanding of cultural dynamics.

One of the most memorable experiences of this module was our trip to the National Gallery Victoria. As part of our assessment, we were divided into groups and tasked with selecting art pieces that resonated with us. This experience allowed me to connect with my groupmates on a deeper level, as we bonded over our ethnic cultural backgrounds and personal perspectives. The friendships I formed during this module are ones I cherish and intend to maintain long after the unit ends.

Reflection

Records

Intercultural Communication: We delved into the art of communicating across cultures. We learned to ask open-ended questions, avoid assumptions, and conduct independent research to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures. I reckon this newfound knowledge will come in super handy when I'm interacting with folks from all sorts of cultural backgrounds in the future.

Responsible Representation of Cultures: We learned about the responsibility that comes with representing other cultures. This involves self-education, respectful communication, critical thinking about cultural representations, and increased awareness of our own power and privilege. These lessons have equipped me with the tools to represent other cultures accurately and respectfully.

Marble Bust

Module 3 :

Skills Workshop & Solo Presentation

Interior Decorations

Reflection

In the third module, Felix introduced us to the world of rhetorical tools, like Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. As an Information Technology major, it dawned on me that I could actually use these tools in my upcoming 'IT Project Management' unit, where as a team, we’re supposed to come up with a solution and present it to our stakeholders - and these tools could be just the thing I need to make my pitch convincing.

The Solo Presentation in this module served as a significant turning point. It gave me the chance to put the rhetorical tools we learned into actual practice.

 

This process of designing and presenting my own work boosted my confidence in narration and innovative communication, vital skills in the IT sector where breaking down complex ideas into digestible pieces is essential. Felix's constructive feedback was the icing on the cake, fine-tuning my abilities and deepening my comprehension.

I would say this module was the most beneficial to me because it didn't just give me a good grasp of how to make my arguments more persuasive, but also taught me how to connect better with different types of audiences in our tech-heavy world.

Brown Paper

Records

Logos - Appeals to Reason: Understanding the use of facts, statistics, and scientific evidence for logical arguments, as studied in Logos, will prove essential in my future ventures, especially when advocating for certain technologies or methods.

Ethos - Appeals to Character:  We studied the role of credibility and likability in argument persuasion, enhancing my understanding of their importance in effective communication, vital in the IT field where trust is paramount.

Pathos - Appeals to Emotion:  We grasped the potency of emotion in persuasion, emphasizing personal stories to connect deeply with audiences, a skill invaluable in future situations like leading teams through challenging projects.

Image by Alyssa Hurley

In conclusion, 

This unit has enhanced my communication skills and cultural understanding, equipping me to navigate through diverse landscapes both personally and professionally. Now, I feel ready to tackle any communication challenge, marking a transformative journey.

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