Monday, August 10, 2009

Another dimension

I led my first workshop on Personality Dimensions today. It was part of the Communications component for a larger workshop which is running for three weeks at my practicum placement. At first, I was really nervous for a couple of reasons: 1) I am not one of those people who is a gifted presenter and 2) my supervisor is one of those people...and she was there to watch me. I knew that she was actually there more for support more than anything else but still, a part of me wanted to impress her with my charismatic speaking style and the amazing way I engaged the audience. Of course, none of these things happened but I did manage to deliver my part of the workshop and it felt good to get the first one out of the way.

My supervisor was very supportive and provided me with constructive feedback afterwards which I will definitely take to heart. Some of the things she touched on were my tone (it needed to be louder) and just speaking with a little more confidence. (It's interesting because I've been accused of being a "low talker", though many might be surprised to hear that I was once known for my boisterousness as I was growing up.) I think both of these things can be improved upon through continued practice and as I gain more experience in the field. I look forward to the day when I'll have an arsenal of witty anecdotes that I can pull out of a hat and when my voice projects across the room effortlessly.

I think I've been really fortunate at my practicum because I've been able to observe and learn from such amazing facilitators - each with their own unique way of presenting that seems to capture and resonate with those that they are presenting to. I've taken notes - both physically and mentally - on ways to improve my own style of presenting and what I've loved most about each workshop and the individual who has given it.

I think of how lucky I am that my experience at my placement has been so positive because I think of how the opposite may have really tainted my view of the profession and perhaps even made me doubt my decision to enter this field. My path may have gone in a different direction or ended altogether. I've teetered back and forth throughout this program with the idea that perhaps this isn't what I'm supposed to do and that maybe I've made a mistake but through this practicum I've dispelled many of the lingering doubts in my mind. True, I doubt I'll ever be 100% about anything (unless it involves traveling, writing letters, using fountain pens, collecting ephemera, watching movies and taking photographs - all simultaneously) but it's the closest I've gotten so far. Every day I'm given the opportunity to learn through these amazing professionals and see how their work provides meaning to others, themselves and to me.

I think it's going to be a really sad day when my practicum ends. (Sigh)

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