Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Speaking out your mind

Participation is the key to a lively class. Class participation provides the opportunity to practice speaking and persuasive skills, as well as the ability to listen. Comments that are vague, repetitive, unrelated to the current topic, disrespectful of others, or without sufficient foundation will usually be evaluated negatively. What matters is the quality of one's contributions to the class discussion, not the number of times one speaks. Participation is vital in Post Graduate studies where discussion seems to be an important component in this interactive mode of programme. Students are expected to be able to present their facts and ideas confidently in a more matured manner by applying their thinking and analytical skill effectively.

From my observation, the ability to participate in class discussion depends largely on the preparation made by the students especially in terms of reading articles or materials related to the issues being discussed. It reflects their level of knowledge, the kind of reading materials they adhere to and the effort taken by them to contribute in the discussion. Limited sources of reading would result in the inability to response to other persons’ opinions and also in defending their own views. The fear of speaking out could also be related to the family upbringing and the socialization process that have influences the shaping of one’s character. Students often come up to me at the end of a class telling me that they actually wanted to speak out but couldn’t do so due to their incapability in putting it out into words. It’s quite frustrating to have that ideas locked inside your mind and being unable to express it out clearly in class due to lack of courage and self confident.

Self confident could facilitate a student to speak out. It is very much related to their self esteem or their opinion about themselves. Low self esteem results from a poor self image. Your self image is based on how you see yourself. Low self esteem feeds your negative thinking and makes you believe negative comments others make towards your opinions. If you have a high level of self esteem you will be confident, happy, highly motivated and have the right attitude to succeed. Self esteem is very important because it affects how you think, act,and even how you relate to other people. This would also affects your potential to be successful. Low self esteem means poor confidence and that also causes negative thoughts which means that you are likely to give up easily rather than face challenges.

Here are some tips for those who have difficulties in expressing your views in class :-
1. DO give it a try and speak. Like everything else in life, this may be scary at
first, but once you do it enough, you'll feel more comfortable.
2. DO come to class prepared. DON'T interrupt. If appropriate, raise your hand.
3. DON'T be afraid to express an unpopular opinion.
4. DO think of this as a learning experience. Get into the habit now and you'll be
more comfortable with participation later.
5. DO think of yourself as a member of a community with a responsibility to everyone. When class participation is strong, students enjoy coming to class and learn more.
6. DO talk to the lecturer if you're very uncomfortable about participating, for
whatever reason. The lecturer will appreciate this and will probably help you
become more comfortable with class participation.

Practice makes perfect! Build up your confident and don't be afraid to speak out! Make yourself visible!


Sheikh AL Zarafee said...

Dr Norhani ,
Thanks for a very good point on how to handle the difficulty of expressing ideas in class.

Presentation skills and Confident of Selling Ideas is an essential skill to all executive in Private Sector .

The question on how fast you climb the corporate ladder is very much relate on how you can convince people especially Top Level management.

As what you wrote " Practice makes perfect! Build up your confident and don't be afraid to speak out! Make yourself visible! "

Till Than .

Wasalam .
Sheikh Ayub.

Dr. Honey said...

Yes, its true. Thanks for joining in, Shikh!