So, you’ve chosen to do Language in the Mind for your final year in university. (Either that or it was one of the mandatory modules you had to do if you chose the Language and Literature route). Good for you. I mean that with the most sincerity. There is a lot of work to be done in this module; a lot of reading will take up your time, but it is definitely one of the most intriguing modules I’ve done in my years here and has shown just how complex our minds really are.

The first coursework you will have to do is a presentation. That’s easy enough, surely? You would think so. I felt like the world had been lifted off my shoulders when Mike finally told my partner and I to take a seat after we had completed our 15 minutes in front of the class. Not just because we had finally done it, but because we felt that we absolutely smashed it there and then. (We did get a first 1st in the end). You could have that feeling too. Here are a few things to consider when making your presentation. I hope these shall be of aid to anyone reading this:

  • Engage your audience: Incorporate a quiz into your presentation. Make some videos of yourselves demonstrating your topic. Ask a few questions here and there. Just make sure you give enough time before you carry on speaking.
  • Talk slowly: Not in slow motion or anything. Just enunciate your words. Emphasise the key terms that occur in your topic. Mix some intonation in there too. Can’t go wrong with a bit of intonation.
  • The Steeple Gesture: Mike told us about this when it appeared in one of the Presentation Preparation lectures prior to the presentation weeks. I can say as a first hand witness that it was met with a reaction of confusion and laughter from students, including myself. Putting your hands together in that manner just seemed so strange. But with enough practice it almost becomes second nature. This goes onto the third and final point. Probably the most important too.
  • PRACTICE: If you’re feeling nervous, sort out who in your group will do what slide and go through the presentation as if you were doing it in front of the class. Find an empty lecture room that’s out of hours and run through it. If you feel it didn’t go too well, run through it again. If you feel it actually went quite well on the first take? Do it again. The aim is to do it so many times that you get sick of saying the same thing over and over again that you just want to get it finished and out of the way. Even on the day of carrying out the presentation on your day, try and go through it….. maybe three more times? The nerves go away. Really, they do. Those feelings always come back when you’re standing in front of everyone for the final thing. But if you’ve got your introduction down…. I feel you’re all good to go. It’s just sails on from there.

You don’t have to listen to me of course, everyone has their own ways. But that’s just my take on what I felt helped me the most in preparation for the coursework.

Good luck on your studies!

Jamie Kyei Manteaw