I still remember the moment Laxman sir (my tutor/mentor at the KathmanduUniversity) asked me if I could do a pecha-kucha presentation during the conference. I did say yes, but I wasn’t completely convinced with the idea. First, it was the first time I was going to attend the conference and I was planning just to be present at some sessions/workshops and take some photos. Second, it was going to be during the plenary session. That meant, in the main hall. With all the big-guns of the ELT world (ELT ka dada haru) and foreign dignitaries right in front of me. And third, I was really really hesitant about the pecha-kucha format (20 slides, 20 seconds for each slide, one can’t stall, one can’t miss the point, additional stress).
So there would be five of us from KU presenting on different themes. I picked up the theme of various types of English that I hear in my school. This was also something that I’ve been trying to do in this blog. And thus we sat down for some brainstorming sessions, then a lot of thinking and planning, group discussions and some practice sessions.
The title of my pecha-kucha would be “Our School English” and I would use the expressions and dialogues teachers and students use in my school. I also used a lot of meme to go along with the dialogues.
However, the awkward feeling of nervousness kept bothering me (even after the few minutes of doing it). I thought it was going to be a hit or miss thing – either I would completely suck at it and the audience would not get what I was trying to say or I would be able to connect with the audience right from the first slide and give them an amazing 6mins and 40 seconds of lively session.
Well, I did give the presentation and I think I did it fairly well. I got the keynote speakers Dr Richard Smith (University of Warwick) and Dr Jodi Crandall (University of Maryland) and several people in the audience laughing and clapping.
So, what did I learn? Three very general but pretty important things.
- It’s good to be nervous/anxious.
- It’s good to be prepared.
- It’s good to work as/in/with a team.
What a learning experience it was! A cliché it might be, but it was quite meaningful. Thank you Laxman sir, Mabindra sir and the team.