On January 21st, John Lof Leadership Academy (JLLA) lead their second workshop of the year. During this workshop, all members tested their ability to communicate on research, motivation, general talks, and pitches. Members prepared a 3-minute talk on their selected topic. Finally, after each talk, Dr. Chrysochoou, Dr. Maric, and other JLLA members discussed areas in which the talk could use improvement and how it was successful.
As engineering students, it is crucial to master the art of public speaking. This skill is not widely taught in many engineering curriculums and it is not often practiced by students. Therefore, JLLA closed this gap by creating an opportunity for its members to practice this skill. This event was led by members Pierre Fils and Mikayla Moody. The two new John Lof members led their committee in planning and executing this successful event.
Members voiced that they appreciated the ability to have an informal and low-stake way to practice. They mentioned that this opportunity allowed them to learn about public speaking in a different way than what was provided by classes or research alone.
“My biggest takeaway was that public speaking is not a singular thing. It is dynamic and changes greatly depending on who is presenting, the topic they are presenting on, and the audience they are presenting to. Even within the same topic and audience, people will present very differently, and that’s okay. That individuality is what makes the speech.”
“This seemed like a great way of encouraging public speaking without forcing anyone into uncomfortable situations since topic options were given, groups were small, and feedback was genuine and intimate among fellow peers. It was a well-organized means of addressing an aspect of leadership that doesn’t come naturally and I think it was beneficial for many, including myself.”
“My biggest takeaway is that to be who you are in whatever you are doing is the most important thing. We are engineers, but we are not machines, and each of us is different, and that difference is what makes us interesting to listen to. Also, if you don’t do passionately what you do, you cannot even get good feedback to help you.”