A Memorable Moment

von Felix

Thursday’s presentation in HRM went well: although Viorica and Oleg, who started, were a bit nervous, they could make their points and had a very good answer for the lecturer’s question afterwards. Immanuel was very confident. Before, he was a bit afraid, because of his English, but I think he did a great job.

Then it was my turn. I had rehearsed my part, the recommendations, for the whole morning and was well prepared. Although I certainly did not reach the level that I had during rehearsal, I think I presented very clearly and fluently. Thanks to Immanuel, who changed the slides for me, I could move and was able to address our audience directly, which I did with reference to the presentations of Monday and Wednesday.

Our presentation had to take no less than ten and no more than twelve minutes. How can we avoid unnecessary deductions without agreeing on some silly signal? My idea, using the timer of my mobile phone in silent mode, worked out pretty well. After about ten minutes, the vibration in my pocket reminded me that I was allowed to stop talking, but still had some time left to finish properly.

We received a lot of positive feedback from our lecturer, whom I would describe as very demanding, as well as from our fellow students. I think we might even get an A. For a group of four non-native speakers that would be a great success.

Satisfied with our performance we sat down to listen to the other presentations. I really have to tell you about the last one. In thirteen years of school and two years of university I did not came across something that even came close, but let me start telling you the story from the beginning on.

On Wednesday a group of three people presented their project, which dealt with the recruitment of An Garda Síochána na hÉireann, the Irish police force. Originally, they were four people, but they kicked one girl out, because she did not do any work and never showed up when they met. This girl – let’s call her Rola – then had to do an individual project as well as presentation. Rola is a bit of an outsider in class. She’s from an ethnic minority, very introverted and often absent.
While her ex-colleagues presented, Viorica noticed that she took probably more notes than our lecturer, but at that time we just thought that was strange.

I had exchanged some words with her before if we both were early. On Thursday I had told her how to operate the presentation computer (“Double click on your file, then press the F5 key to start the presentation”), because she did not seem to be very tech-savvy.

Then, it was her turn. She opened the presentation file and started talking right away without entering the slide show modus. This was just the beginning of the worst presentation that I’ve ever seen.
Her volume was very low, her words were slurred and she played with a pen in her hands all the time. Moreoever, her slides were peppered with grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes, used huge blocks of text instead of bullet points, contained inconsistent figures and used exactly the same slide master as Wednesday’s group’s. After some seconds it was pretty obvious that not only the layout, but also the contents were stolen.

She did not give the impression that she had any idea what she was talking about or rehearsed her presentation before. Rola did not even know her “own” slides. She opened one after the other to find the right one. While doing this she accidently clicked the “add new slide” button. Because it was not what she intended to do, she decided to click the exit button. When Powerpoint asked her if she wanted to save her changes. I could no longer be quiet and said “No, just hit F5”. She ignored my hint and pressed “Yes” instead.
So she could find herself back on the Desktop, where it took here some seconds to find her file again. Then she double clicked on the filename instead of the icon, which does not open the file in Powerpoint, but waits for user input to change the filename.

It was like in a bad horror movie where the characters do exactly what they better should not do. You think “don’t go into that dark chamber” and they go in, “don’t split” and they split…
When she finally managed to open her presentation again and talked about “her” conclusions, I was not too surprised that she said something like “oh, I forgot” and then started adding stuff from the analysis part that she left out in the first place. It was really painful to watch her.

So far it had “just” been the worst presentation I’ve ever seen (witnessed would be the appropriate word here), but then it became absurd. Way over time after “her” conclusions she started telling the audience that she recently went to the Garda in order to get a document, because she had lost her passport. The officer that she spoke to was from an ethnic minority, too. He was Chinese (at least that’s what she said) and somehow could not help her with her problem. While she told this personal experience, her volume as well as tempo increased. Then she became racist and critised the Garda at the same time in a very inappropriate way for employing this particular officer. She talked herself in a rage and I had the impression that she was almost crying.
In the end, she concluded that the Garda should not hire people from ethnic minorities. Wow! That’s ridiculous.

In summary: plagiarism, technical poor presentation, over time and being racist in just one presentation. Wow, you’ve set a new record!

1 Kommentar zu „A Memorable Moment“

  1. Diskurswelt.de Archiv » Free! schrieb am 7. Dezember 2008 um 01:25:

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