I have been asked many times, “What does ‘Real Impact. Real Learning’ mean?” during calls with prospective MBA applicants. Although I have multiple examples to share, I would like to share my experience during our Business and Society course.
We as a group (self-named Developing Developers) were scheduled to present a TED style talk on UN’s SDG#1: No Poverty. It was a marvellous day organized by our Professor Knut Haanaes where we went to United Nations, World Economic Forum and the Innovation center in Geneva.
Priscila and I presented our group’s work to the world. It was followed by a group hug by the “Developing developers” to celebrate our hard work in jotting down our experiences and solutions for tackling the problem of poverty.
So where is the “Real” learning here?
The day before the presentation: I was doing mock presentations in front of my group for feedback in our renowned ‘dungeons’ (study rooms!). The first mock was horrible, the second a little less horrible, you get the idea.
Although I have done numerous presentations, the thought of presenting in public still gets my palms sweaty. In comes my classmate, Joseph, the master of public speaking with his ever helping attitude.
We practiced in our auditorium with Jo providing valuable feedback and support. Understanding our public speaking misery, he uttered his three golden rules for public speaking:
- Speaking with a crutch: This phase is speaking while having the paper (the crutch) in front of you to have something to hold on to while getting familiar with the material.
- Speaking without the crutch: Just like learning to walk, you leave the paper behind and speak without it. It’s difficult, you feel the anxiety, but it gives you the much needed confidence. Jo also mentioned the importance of using simple words, easy to remember and easy for the audience.
- Connecting with the audience: After learning to walk without the crutch, you can now connect with the audience, look at them, feel their reactions.
I am really thankful to Joseph who was in the auditorium with me and Priscila until midnight! Helping us, perfecting us, supporting us!
This was not a learning I would ever find in a book or in a classroom, but only with the special bond we share at IMD!