Seminar introductions: making a good impression
As the majority of face-to-face teaching has been cancelled due to the pandemic, Senthur Shanmugarasa gives the lowdown on how to shine through your screens in seminars.
With most teaching being moved online, it is understandable that making a first impression is more difficult than ever. Meeting in person, the awkwardness in the room is shared and you’re often split into smaller groups for those clichéd activities such as ‘tell us something interesting about yourself’ or the frankly god-awful two truths and a lie.
Making a positive impact in your seminars is a sure fire way to boost your confidence for your modules, so here are some top tips to putting yourself out there:
- You’re not the only one – remember everyone (including the seminar tutor) is in the same boat, when it comes to the new reality of online learning.
- Do the set work beforehand – although this may seem the “unfashionable thing”, doing the prerequisite reading allows for an easy conversation starter and follow up discussion.
- Get up early – while it may seem quite tempting to wake up and flick your laptop on, getting up a reasonable amount before your seminar will make you more attentive and willing to engage in discussion.
- Be yourself – you thought I had forgotten this classic cliché. Of course Not! Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. When face-to-face teaching hopefully resumes, people will realise it’s all just one big façade. That’s so not fetch. Being authentic will mean greater respect from your peers and ultimately greater self-confidence.
These are some tips to help you navigate the ever changing world of University seminars. Remember to go at your pace; only you decide if you’re ready to unmute the mic and turn the camera on.