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MindyO
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USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2009 :  3:26:08 PM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone. I'm applying for a new position in the training dept. at work and I am on round 3 (final step) of the interview process, which is a 15 minute presentation on the topic of my choice.

Not only does this have me freaking out because I have to be in front of people, while they all stare at me, and I am expected to speak, and be the center of attention. My biggest fear! I loathe being a spectacle. Why do I want to be a trainer? Because I also like to share what I know others, and I love being 'on the inside' and knowing things before other people. AKA I'm nosey.

So my thoughts were a 15 minute presentation on spinning. I have several spindles, and I was thinking I could make a bunch of those toy wheel spindles so everyone can try it. I have some wool I will probably never finish spinning (and not great quality) for them as well.
5 Minutes on the history and uses of spun fiber (all while I'm spinning to keep my hands busy and hopefully keep me calm)
5 minutes on different fibers, and different machines (wheels, spindle types, etc)I have a few different wools, some silk, and some llama fiber that I can show. I also have hand cards to show prep
5 minutes basic beginer spinning

So my question to you all is, what info would you find interesting enough for someone to present? I don't want to bore them to death.

What resouces do you find useful for good information?

Any recommendations for sprucing up the topic for those that will be completely uninterested?

And finally am I just insane for even thinking of this?

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LJ
Permanent Resident

USA
1939 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2009 :  4:45:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit LJ's Homepage Send LJ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've found asking a question, one you don't really expect an answer to, will keep their attention. For spinning it might be: Why the term spinster? Or what fibers can be spun? (they'll be surprised when you list corn, milk, bamboo, etc)

And try not to let what you're doing with your hands distract from your verbal presentation. You want them to remember you were confident with your information not that you were able to keep the "top twirling around"

And when something goes wrong..it usually did in evry class or presentation I did..try not to let if fluster you.

Hope that helps. And good luck!

Linda in Va




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Owl
New Pal

USA
20 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2009 :  4:54:18 PM  Show Profile Send Owl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think it's a great idea. If you are talking about something you find interesting, then you will be interesting.

Here's my two cents.

If you have read Elizabeth Wayland Barber's book Women's Work, you have seen the picture of the Venus de Milo with arms and she is spinning (this is a theory of what the statue looked like originally). That and telling your audience that if they were ancient Greeks they would have been spinning all the time (well, the women), might get their attention. Most people don't know that every thread for clothing and bedding had to be spun by hand, which is why in the Odyssey wealthy people were described as having a lot of women spinning in the palace. You can also explain that spinning wheels weren't invented until later.

Also (merely my opinion), I'm not sure you would have time to present different types of fiber. I might instead start out by giving them each a bit of wool and have them pull it apart, then spin it by rolling it down toward their knees, and then get to the spindle part. So then your three parts would be, history of spinning, mechanics of spinning fiber (drafting), and spindling.

About the fear of public speaking; the cure is to know *exactly* what you are going to do and say, and practice it way more than you think you need to (so you could do it in your sleep). Ask someone to pretend to be the audience so you can practice interacting for the demonstration part. Then film yourself speaking your piece, in the clothes you will wear, so you know you look fine. Remove as many variables as you can. And when you are speaking, start at a low pitch and don't go too fast. People will stay with you if you know what you're doing and take your time. (On your video, put in a long pause just so you can see what a long pause looks like to the audience--likely it's not as long as you think.)

Best of luck.
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Bethany
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USA
1546 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2009 :  4:57:59 PM  Show Profile Send Bethany a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Question: In my area, when I think presentation, I think Powerpoint... largely because all presentations in my area DO involve Powerpoint.

Which isn't the only way to give a presentation, of course. But are you applying for a position where most of the presentations are going to involve Powerpoint?

If so, I think your application presentation should involve Powerpoint, too.

If not, go for it. :-)
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Kade1301
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France
1438 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  03:29:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my experience, spinning is so fascinating to most people that you don't need extra attention-grabbers (like the Venus of Milo, or the term spinster (which, really, could lead to a 15 minute presentation on this particular subject)). You can tell people anything at all and it will be new and interesting to them! And 15 minutes is VERY short if you are talking about something you know a lot about (I've done lots of presentations at college as well as given spinning demonstrations).

Actually, I think 15 minutes is way too short to get people to use a spindle - at most I'd give everybody a tuft of wool and have them experiment with drafting and twisting with their fingers. I'm also doubtful about spinning WHILE you talk - as far as I know jurors put great emphasis on the presenter making more or less permanent eye contact and using appropriate gestures to underline their words. So I would (actually, I DID when I presented my tourism project for my farm, with great success) do the talk first (possibly with computer/slide support if appropriate) and then demonstrate spinning - so both you AND your listeners can concentrate on one thing at a time.

And, as Owl said, PRACTICE! And if you find somebody who dares to critizise your presentation, do consider their input...

But based on my experience, those people who talked about a topic they were really interested in generally were successful, so just prepare as best you can and don't worry too much.

Good luck! Klara


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MindyO
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USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  11:38:14 AM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well Dh would definitely be happy to criticise me! lol
Very valid question Bethany, the job is based a lot on power point, but I do not know what I will have access to when presenting. I am going to set up something just in case I do have use of a computer, but I need to plan not to as well.

You're right, 5 minutes is a little short. I did teach my family in about 10 minutes, at least how to get started. So do you think if I brought them and maybe as step 2 offered for people to try while doing a demo, or they can opt to just play with the fibers? Then the last part I can get into what can be spun while they continue to play.

I have to say though I am far less nervous thinking about this than I thought I would be.

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Mocha
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Singapore
2903 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2009 :  09:21:05 AM  Show Profile Send Mocha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What can set you apart ? Not on the wealth of info, but on how you deliver your presentation.

Will your audience be captivated ? Will they be falling asleep? Can you break the ice? (Well maybe not on this presentation) Can you get them 'addicted' or so excited to hear from you?

I agree on the practice. But if this is too late, you can also look at them like friends or some stranger and you are 'guiding' them on your 'goodies'. That might help on the nervousness.
Other than that, walk around, use body language, rehearse your scripts (down to exact words to use, very important point here), & prepare for questions.
Also, first timers always have the tendency to talk real fast. So do slow down.

My first presentation was to a former customer and I was shaking like mad. And I get irritated when someone preparing for presentation does not even bother to do a proper script and make a whole lot of blunders.
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MindyO
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USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2009 :  11:47:35 AM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I want to focus more on spinning and the history of spinning. And then some brief info on spindles, with a mention towards wheels and other items. I don't know enough about wheels and other spinning tools to feel too confident with more than a casual mention. And a little info on the different types of fibers that can be spun. I found it amazing that plants could be used when I first started.
I was IMing with a former coworker last night who was a coach (one level above me) And even though it was through IM rather than spoken I typed out some of the material I was thinking of using. So I was telling her some of the info and she said so far it all sounded good. I wasn't even putting in the right order. She said the info I was providing was very interesting. So I just have to touch it up, get everything in order. I do want to prep some note cards, but not with a whole laid out speech, more of a guideline to keep me on track.
DH taught me to use powerpoint last night so I just need to gather some interesting photos.
Basically what I will be doing if I get the job is training all the new hires with all our procedure info. Which is very dry material. So i plan on being as upbeat as possible.
I also plan on asking them if anyone can name fibers that can be spun, to get them engaged and participating rather than just sitting back and staring. And that would then lead into that info.
I have to say I'm a lot less nervous thinking about it than I was 3 days ago when they told me. So i take that as a good sign.

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Wen
Permanent Resident

Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2009 :  2:32:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message  Reply with Quote

If using power point, set up before you begin, once you start you do not ever look at the screen on the wall. Rehearse enough that you know what is coming, you will hopefully have your computer in front of you that you can check. Trust that what is on your computer is on the wall.

Only put 4 or 5 points on a slide any more and it becomes cluttered and distracting.

Don't use green or red - chances are that one of the people in a class of 20 is at least partially colourblind and will find it difficult to read.

If you are using 2007 there is a nifty presenters view where you have the slide and your notes on your screen and just the slide on the wall. It is brilliant.

Cue cards are good but rehearsal is better. With cue cards I found that when I lost my place I became flustered. My powerpoint slides are my cues.

As for topics, make sure you know your topic well and remember you know more than your audience, you are there to pass on information. In 15 minutes you probably don't have time for a hands on tutorial. They are looking for your presentation style not training ability. As someone who knows almost nothing about spinning my main question I want answered is how do you do it? The difficult bit is keeping the information simple and easy to understand.

Most importantly keep eye contact with the group, that is how I know who I have lost, whether I need to explain something in a different way etc.

Good luck, I'm still nervous walking into a training room. It's natural for our generation - my kids started doing presentations in 4yo preschool they won't have this issue.

Wen


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kdcrowley
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USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2009 :  5:01:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Put an extra blank slide at the end, in case you slip past the last slide, your presentation won't end.

Also, you never ever lose that nervous feeling from presenting. Good presenters just know it and have learned to live with it.

If I were you, I would not present spinning as a topic for a professional position. I would present materials about training or communications topics that can show you know your stuff from a theoretical as well as practise perspective.

Kelley
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kbshee
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USA
4166 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2009 :  6:09:46 PM  Show Profile Send kbshee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am in agreement with Kelley, that you should use this to show your training/communications skills, but can you connect training to teaching spinning? Like a metaphor?


kim in oregon
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MindyO
Permanent Resident

USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2009 :  10:14:11 PM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ok I found out a little more when I went to work today. I will not have a computer with projector so no PP is needed. In fact I can't use it if I had prepared it.
The girl who interviewed for the last open spot a few months ago actually ppresented a history of knitting with beginner cast on and knit. And she got the job.

So my hope is to take spinning, which lets be honest, is only fun if you're into it. From a boring topic into something that actually grabs their attention, talk about different fibers that can be spun since I didn't know all the things you could do before I started. And then let them play with different fibers pointing out the differences, and if anyone cares to try I will have spindles and wool. I guess all they (3 people) want to see is how well I do in front of a group talking and presenting.

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kdcrowley
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USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2009 :  10:33:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MindyO

Ok I found out a little more when I went to work today. I will not have a computer with projector so no PP is needed. In fact I can't use it if I had prepared it.
The girl who interviewed for the last open spot a few months ago actually ppresented a history of knitting with beginner cast on and knit. And she got the job.

So my hope is to take spinning, which lets be honest, is only fun if you're into it. From a boring topic into something that actually grabs their attention, talk about different fibers that can be spun since I didn't know all the things you could do before I started. And then let them play with different fibers pointing out the differences, and if anyone cares to try I will have spindles and wool. I guess all they (3 people) want to see is how well I do in front of a group talking and presenting.

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Well then, carry on!

I did something similar at DS's school....it seems that more than anything, taking fiber for people to play with and keep was good. making the connection between the fiber in hand and clothes being worn is good, and you might consider spinning sticks? Just take a couple of coat hangers and cut wire lengths about 6-8 inches long and then bend a hook in one end. Then break people into groups and have everyone try with a partner and then stop them and hav ethem change roles....which demonstrates the ability to have people interact with each other as well as lecture etc. You can get people to make yarn with spinning sticks inside 15, spindles? Maybe not so much.

Kelley
Check out my solar-dyed yarns at http://www.ceallachdyes.com
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2009 :  04:55:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MindyO

So my hope is to take spinning, which lets be honest, is only fun if you're into it.



Allow me to disagree! Most of the people I've met are completely fascinated because they either never even thought about how a thread is made, or they have always wondered but had nobody to ask. If you keep it general and down to basics (with the absolute minimum of technical terms - I wouldn't go into Bradford count and microns and protein and cellulose fibre but stick to thin/thick and animal/vegetable) the jury should be fascinated! (As I've said, I ended the presentation of my "spinning on the farm" tourism project with a half-minute spinning demonstration and one of the jurors took down my address for future reference. This year she sent me a student... That's what I call success! Well, I also passed the exam.)

By the way, fell free to have a look at my web site http://www.lahottee.info/E_SpinningIntro.php and take whatever you find useful.

Good luck! Klara

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MindyO
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USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2009 :  11:04:03 PM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well presented yesterday, boy oh boy was I scared! And it kind of sucks when the first thing out of their mouths was so, are you nervous? HA! Of course.
I don't even know why I am applying for a position in front of people when it makes me so nervous. I just know I like to help. But I think it went well, after my voice stopped shaking lol! the first 5 minutes I was a shaky internal mess. But by the end I had calmed down and we were all playing with fluff! I think they actually found it interesting, especially when I mentioned spinster used to be a job, before it was used for old and unmarried! They all went OHHH!!!
I found it interesting that a drop spindle really hasn't changed since 9500 BC! That's a long time...
Then I got to help out for an hour in the training room with the new people and that went much better.
I asked the woman who would be my direct supervisor, and one of the 3 in the room (while we were walking down the hall after) to be honest, how did I do? She said I did well, obviously researched my topic and knew a lot of information, and did a good job relaying it. And I didn't even use my note card, I completely forgot it was in my bag. So fingers crossed.
I did find out one of the other applicants is a girl who has been turned down again and again for higher positions so I think my chance got a little bit better.

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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2009 :  02:42:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Congratulations on a job well done! And contrary to Kelley I found that I got over the nervousness - so you can still hope it'll get better with time!

Bye, Klara

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Wen
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Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2009 :  02:53:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well done Mindy, sounds like you took all the advice or just knew what you were doing anyway.

Fingers crossed for you.

Wen


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jaymeKnits
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1350 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2009 :  04:51:59 AM  Show Profile  Send jaymeKnits a Yahoo! Message Send jaymeKnits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Personally I don't think 15 minutes is enough for a good presentation and teaching them to spin. I'd have a hand out with a bit of wool, bring your extra spindles(including 2 or 3 toy wheel ones you could give away) and offer to teach after wards if they are interested. In the presentation you could have them hand spin a few inches and then ply it back on itself or something.

I also wouldn't start off spinning. I'd start with history to modern, then talk about methods and materials and start to spin during that section. And definitely bring your PPT presentation on CD and Flash drive, and email it to yourself just in case.

Good Luck!

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LJ
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USA
1939 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2009 :  06:12:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit LJ's Homepage Send LJ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well done!

Linda in Va

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MindyO
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USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2009 :  9:28:50 PM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I GOT IT!!!!!!!
And thank you all for all the helpful advice and input

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Kade1301
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France
1438 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2009 :  04:31:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Congratulations again! Klara

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