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Billy Kennedy December 12, 2013 Dr.

Erin Dietel-McLaughlin Multimedia Project TED Talk Reflective Paper Although my TED Talk presentation worked off the same research and thesis as my research essay, I was surprised as to what degree I had to tailor information to make it engaging, and more personal for the audience. During the preliminary stages of forming an outline for my presentation, I found my presentations content was very similar to that of my essay. Seeing as the essay and an oral presentation are two different mediums, I knew there was something I could do to enhance my assertions in a presentation setting. Many strong supporting arguments from my research essay were included, such as my examples on Golden Rice and B.t. corn. When it came to addressing the gene therapy side of my discussion, I thought this would be a great opportunity to make the presentation more personal with the audience, rather than just stating the findings I made in my research essay. After some further searching, I came across the story of a young girl named Jordan who has lived with cystic fibrosis. Featured in a documentary film called 65 Roses, I went on to tell the class Jordans story and how gene therapy has continually increased her life expectancy. Furthermore, during the thanksgiving break, I took a trip to the South Bend Farmers Market to talk to produce sellers about their perspectives on organic and genetically modified foods. Expecting to hear their perspectives on the benefits of organic foods, I was completely surprised when they spoke highly of genetically modified foods, which ended up supporting my thesis. I felt the

addition of my experience at the South Bend Farmers Market supplemented my researched information well, as it not only described to the audience some of my personal experiences and discoveries, but it was also relevant to them as this was very close to home; the conversations I had with these stand owners were only two miles south of where I gave the presentation. I feel these changes from my research essay not only allowed me to engage the audience more, but it also allowed me accentuate how genetic engineering can be used as a humanitarian tool. Watching my recorded self giving my presentation was a great learning experience. I had rehearsed the speech many times before the day of the presentation and felt prepared, but the recording showed me that there were areas I would still like to improve in. My hardest challenge in preparing this presentation was fitting it in less than ten minutes. Because of this, I found myself speaking quickly, and sometimes I felt points were slightly rushed. Yet, I feel my interaction with the audience made for an engaging talk. To my surprise, I actually timed it perfectly on the day with nine minutes and fifty-nine seconds! Looking at myself speak, I now realize how much I am moving around and using verbal communication to interact with the listeners. Overall, I felt my talk went very well as the audience seemed to be attentive and engaged with what I had to say. Of course, there were instances that I felt I could have executed better, but for the most part, everything went the way I had rehearsed it. To further improve my public speaking skills, I think it is important to continually be assessing oneself in this manner by actually watching oneself give a speech. This way, I have been able to identify many strengths and areas for improvement for future talks I may give.