As part of our GP training programme, we attend weekly teaching sessions. This comprises of either a lecture given by a consultant, or a presentation given by a GP trainee. Today I was the plucky trainee, scheduled to present to my group of other junior doctors.
I reflected on the last time I presented at teaching. It was on dementia, a topic I naturally couldn’t put a light twist to. Though I felt it went reasonably well, it could have been better. I wasn’t satisfied with it. I was much more nervous back then and everybody knew it, just by the tone of my voice. When I get nervous I speak fast, and when I speak fast I finish too early. So on this occasion I thought to myself…what can I do this time to better present my teaching. Then I realised, pace myself.
Was I nervous this time? Well yes, most definitely at the beginning. Don’t forget, you’re allowed to be, but don’t show it. If I can’t hear myself get nervous, I can go slower. I found that by doing this, I can maintain my ‘cool’, kept a good rapport with my colleagues and even make bold attempts at making some comical twists, all very well received (!) Entrepreneur Jason Nazar has said that when you’re presenting, you’re not the one that has to be nervous, you can put the onus on your audience. I experimented with this notion, and by god it worked! In addition to my quiz, I was testing my colleagues by asking open questions to them all, and suddenly I wasn’t the nervous one! The other gold dust tip which I picked up upon, only whilst presenting, was to be honest. Just be real. I found that by doing this alone, the audience were more intrigued in the things I was saying. They weren’t afraid to ask me questions or seek advice. They could open up more.
This would be my first time at teaching that others personally came up to me and expressed how good it was. That has never happened before, so I must have done something right! But why did I decide to reflect in the end about some presentation? Well the real reason why I wanted to share this is to utilise this as an example of why we should reflect. I don’t mean just for work, but for life. Yes it makes us better in the things we do, but it can also make us better people.