QUESTION 1 Discuss one personal strength and one weakness you have regarding professional presentations. Name one method for improvement for each of these, and discuss why it is important for you to work on these skills if you want to present your findings in a more formal setting.
RESPONSE 1 If there is one strength that I have is that I am of the minority in that I actually enjoy doing presentations. To do so, however, I have to feel passionate about the subject that I am speaking on. I have had the opportunity to present presentations from nursing and EMS groups to Boy Scouts. I have been blessed in that I was able to do a presentation for the Minister of Health and the Governor of Kalifi, Kenya. The crazy part of that presentation is that I had almost time to prepare and hand to ‘wing it’.
Some of the tricks I learned along the way is that you must prepare and rehearse. Presenting to a practice group before the presentation is very helpful. For me the best idea was to choose people that would be honest in their criticism. Someone who actually counts the number of times you say “Um” is humbling but valuable. Videotaping or recording yourself and doing playback is also helpful to help identify weaknesses in regard to language, enunciation and body language.
You also need to know your material. If you have to read a powerpoint to your audience, then you either need to change you powerpoint or change your presentation. You should always elaborate on what’s on the screen, not read it to your audience. They can already read.
My weakness is that I tend to talk too fast and thus lose clear enunciation. I also have to be careful about linguistics. Being from the Midwest I tend to say, “you betcha” which doesn’t come off as being very professional.
North (2018) offers ten tips on how to improve your public speaking:
- Being nervous is normal. Practice and prepare.
- Know your audience, the speech is about them, not you.
- Organize your material in the most effective manner.
- Watch for feedback and adapt.
- Show off your personality.
- Use humor, tell stories, use effective language
- Don’t read unless you must. Use an outline.
- Use your voice and body language effectively, omitting nervous gestures.
- Grab their attention early and have a dynamic ending.
- Use audiovisual aides wisely.
- Remember, practice does not always mean perfect.
I’m happy to see that I was already using many of these steps to prepare myself but reviewing them still comes in handy.
North, M. (2018). 10 tips for improving your public speaking skills. Harvard Extension School, Harvard University. Retrieved from https://www.extension.harvard.edu/professional-development/blog/10-tips-improving-your-public-speaking-skills
My personal strength when providing a professional presentation is that I talk loud enough for everyone to hear. I also have no problem looking my audience in their eyes as I scan through the room. I also would say that I am comfortable with my body language that I use enough hand gestures and facial expression, although I tend to not walk across the room.
My weakness is that I always get nervous before the presentation. But nervousness before presentation is healthy, because it shows how important the presentation is to you, and that you want to do well in the presentation (University of Washington, 2018). Below are some tips to not let anxiety take over the presentation:
- “Use nervousness to your advantage—channel it into dynamic energy about the topic.
- Remind yourself that you and the audience have the same goal, and, therefore, they want you to succeed as much as you do.
- Speak about what you know. Keeping your presentation within the realm of your knowledge and experience will build confidence and minimize nervousness.
- Focus on delivering your message, not on how you feel.
- Smile. Be relaxed, poised, and at ease on the outside, regardless of how you feel internally. Acting relaxed can help make you relaxed.
- Keep presenting! Your anxieties decrease the more presentations you give”. (University of Washington, 2018, para. 4)
It is important for us to work on our weaknesses on public speaking because we want to get our message across with confidence, so the audience may be influenced.
University of Washington (2018). Presentation tips. Retrieved from https://www.washington.edu/doit/presentation-tips-…
Effective presentation skills have a mixture of a variety of elements. Good preparation, interesting and engaging content is essential. One personal strength I have regarding professional presentations is that I plan and practice my presentation several times until I can speak comfortably and fluently. I am usually well prepared and have confidence in answering any questions following my presentation. A poor prepared presentation often detracts from an informed and timely message (Bourne, 2007). One method of improvement is to not have as much information. I very often find myself having too much information regarding my topic which can lead to a longer and boring presentation.
My greatest weakness is fear of public speaking. The thought of speaking in front of an audience creates a variety of nervousness and anxiety. One method that can help manage my fear of speaking is by using physical relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises to help calm my body and ease the tension.
Knowing yourself and what you can do, can help you to recognize and overcome your weaknesses. It is imperative to learn the skills and techniques needed to increase the level of confidence and performance when presenting in a formal setting (Bourne, 2007).
Bourne, P. E. (2007). Ten simple rules for making good oral presentations. PLoS Computational Biology, 3(4), e77. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030077
Sustaining change can be difficult, as there are many variables that can affect implementation. One critical component of EBP is to ensure that practice change is part of an organization’s culture so it will continue to impact outcomes over time. Name two potential barriers that may prevent your EBP change proposal from continuing to obtain the same desired results 6 months to a year from now, and your strategies for overcoming these barriers.
It is not easy to implement change, let alone to sustain it. Yoder-Wise suggests that all nurses should be change agents, where nurse leaders can facilitate the change, and where direct-care nurses can remain open to and engage in new models of evidence-based practice and new models of care (Yoder-Wise, 2015).
There are two types of barriers when it comes to implementing EBP: individual, and organizational barriers. Individual barriers include the degree of familiarity of EBP, and individual perception about EBP. Organizational barriers include the lack of support, especially from other roles like physicians, and the lack of authority for nurses to make changes throughout the field, that requires multidisciplinary change. (Jordan, Bowers, Cur & Morton, 2016)
My strategies to overcome individual barriers is to provide explanation of what EBP is, and why it is important to nursing practice. I would also look for volunteers who are passionate about this topic to be advocates in their place of work. Continuous dissemination of EBP change should influence not only individuals, but also other disciplines. This would also address the organizational barriers.
Jordan, Bowers, Cur & Morton (2016). Barriers to implementing evidence-based practice in a private intensive care unit in the Eastern Cape. Retrieved from https://www.ajol.info/index.php/sajcc/article/view…
Yoder-Wise, P. (2015). Leading and Managing in Nursing, 6th Edition. [Pageburstl]. Retrieved from https://pageburstls.elsevier.com/#/books/978032318…
The impact of evidence-based practice on nursing and patient outcomes is clearly evident. For evidence-based practice to be successful and sustainable, a culture of EBP readiness must exist through ongoing leadership support, EBP resource availability, and adoption of EBP implementation framework. Developing an evidence-based practice culture enhances nurses’ ability to engage in scholarly activities for project implementation and dissemination in the workplace. It is vital to continue to maintain and adapt EBP and to evaluate its integrity and sustainability.
Potential barriers that may prevent the evidence-based practice project from continuing would be lack of staff involvement, and lack leadership support. Studies have revealed that healthcare professionals are often unware of, and lack familiarity with the latest evidence-based guidance.
In order to address these barriers staff must be involved in training to sustain the process. It is imperative to communicate the vision for the types of changes within the environment that are desired and why they are needed to improve practice. Staff should be involved in the beginning of the change and adequately trained to sustain the improved process. Leaders within the organization should be able to effectively communicate their support of the EBP process to staff and inform them of the importance of applying EBP into practice. Studies have revealed that in order for evidence-based practice to be successful in the organization, support from all levels is essential (Sanders et al., 2010).
Sanders, S., Mackin, M. L., Reyes, J., Herr, K., Titler, M., Fine, P., & Forcucci, C. (2010). Implementing evidence-based practices: Considerations for the hospice setting. The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care, 27(6), 369–376. http://doi.org/10.1177/1049909109358695
We have all worked very hard on our change projects the past several weeks, and some of us may actually see their efforts put into practice. It is a tough road to see a change project put into practice, but the test comes when the change becomes accepted and enduring. We have witnessed the obstacles that stand in the way of bringing change, but there are also obstacles to sustained change. Organizational culture plays a major role in either acceptance or neglect of the change process.
Tacia, Biskupski, Pheley and Lehto (2015) identified several barriers. Along with institutional and cultural barriers, the authors also acknowledge that lack of knowledge and lack of motivation or also factors that interfere with long-lasting change. Lack of knowledge refers to EBP, and thus, “these nurses may not be able to recognize criteria that reflect high quality research”. In regard to motivation, the authors quoted a nurse manager as saying, “ A lot of them (nurses)… want to come and do their job and … Somewhere along the line . . . they have forgotten about the need to stay current, their responsibility to the profession, their patients, and to their license . . . ”
I have seen that many times. I know many nurses who are incredibly bright and hard-working but lack the desire to read the most current data or to go back to school. We cannot expect that the institution is going to feed us the things we need to know, and learning on the job is not always comprehensive, timely or safe for our patients. These are difficult barriers to overcome. It is important that we understand these obstacles if we are going to bring forth lasting change. Developing a change process is only part of the equation. If we don’t work on a plan to develop lasing change, then our efforts may very well fail.
Tacia, L., Biskupski, K., Pheley, A., and Lehto, R. (2015). Identifying barriers to evidence-based practice adoption: a focus group study. Clinical Nursing Studies.doi: 10.5430/cns.v3n2p90 Retrieved from http://www.sciedupress.com/journal/index.php/cns/a…