When my JRNL 491 class took on the challenge of creating the new Strategic Visioning Plan of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, I can say that I was a little uneasy. What I mean to say is that I signed up for this class to practice public speaking and making presentations. What better way to reinforce these skills than through real life activities?
It has proven to be a great experience thus far. I have gained experience in facilitating multiple focus groups which were not only made up of current students, but also included alumni and members of Indiana’s community. This gave me experience in speaking to groups of strangers.
Our framework for the course gave me comfort in facilitating a small group. I now know how to gain control of the topic in the group as well as steer the group back on track whenever they seem to veer off course. The first few weeks of our class also taught me how to read people’s body language. This has made me better at including everyone in a group discussion as well as having less people in the group shut down emotionally.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be on this committee and am looking forward to continue refining my skills as we embark on this journey.