PME day: Friday 12th December 2014

Inspire! Be Inspired! Be so good that they can`t ignore you.
That was the theme of the PME day at Friday 12 December 2014.
Urs Staufer opened the day with a general talk about the department issues, after which the group was divided in different focus groups. The theme of the day for the (support) staff and PhD´s was to get trained on presentation and pitching skills. The students followed a seperate inspiring program.
-To be quite honest giving a presentation and pitching is not my strongest point! So I was a bit afraid that my worst nightmare would come true and that I would really make a big fool out of myself in front of my colleagues.-
But nevertheless I went and the trainer, Thomas Platzer, started with a nice exercise. Everyone needed to walk through the room and on his sign needed to do or say something opposite to what he requested. For example when Thomas said green we needed to say red, when he gave the mark for standing still we needed to jump. This exercise was to confuse your mind, free you from your controlling mind and stimulate creativity.  Apparently comedians do this before they need to perform. Then they perform better on stage. At the end everyone was somehow relaxed and confused. Then we needed to split up in groups and Thomas revealed the big secrets behind a good presentation, pitch or talk. In small groups we needed to practice by presenting what we enjoyed in our work, in only 2 minutes. The other group members needed to give feedback. In my group someone practices to pitch why he was the best person to teach mathematics to students. There was also someone who tried to teach us how to moonwalk. –You would think that everybody knows the moonwalk and who invented it. But some professors really did not have a clue.-
After the group session some performed their new presentation skills live on stage in front of the whole department. Then we enjoyed a very nice Christmas lunch together with the students. Followed by a musical get-together. Where students and staff members sang songs while playing a guitar or other musical instrument. That was really nice to listen too. We closed off with a jam session.
As for me. My worst nightmare did came through. I did suck at giving a presentation. But at least I accomplished one thing. I was really good at giving the worse presentation with a very red face so they could not ignore me. J But my colleagues were very helpful with tips.
So was this an inspiring day? For me it was. And as I asked around the most people enjoyed this day and learned a lot. Even me. I can only get better…..
Birgit Rademakers
HR-secretary department PME

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