5:30 a.m. the alarm sounds – another great day of World Conference begins.
The Niagara University chapter gathers together at 6:30 a.m. and off to our education we go. I, along with the chapter, choose to go to Mr. Stephen Barth’s session, who spoke to us about legal compliance in a private club. Things that we may not have to worry about right away as students, but a great topic to be familiar with and understand as we transition into the management field. Mr. Barth had another session that morning and this time it was on leadership and how to enhance one’s presentation effectiveness. A perfect opportunity for me to learn about and improve upon a weakness. Public speaking has never been a strong point for me – I have no trouble talking in conversations, but in the limelight I get too nervous and it becomes a disaster.
An hour and a half later I found myself standing and clapping in awe – this was the best presentation I have had so far at a World Conference. The energy that he gave off, the audience participation and the way he made us work together as a team was nothing short of amazing. He highlighted how to utilize support media in a presentation. Use music and videos to aid and guide your presentation. Defining your delivery method, something I struggle with, was something he made it look so effortless.
He stressed that how you look visually and how you sound vocally are vital to a good presentation. Eye contact is very important, make sure to meet everyone eyes in the room. Use the podium or the platform to your advantage, have the correct posture. Posture can affect your tone and your delivery. Mr. Barth addressed and gave little pointers on how to change all the little things that happen in a presentation that you don’t realize you do. Little tips and tricks I certainly will be using as I move forward in my professional field.
After this session it was time to really focus on me and talk to potential employers. I spoke with one club about an opportunity and another club simply to catch up on the past two years. The greatest thing about World Conference is being able to grow your network. When I look back at how far I have come from my first World Conference in San Diego to where I am now, I truly am amazed at what CMAA can do for an individual. Each day at Conference is a new adventure and a new opportunity to learn about yourself and about this industry.
We, as students, are incredibly lucky to work in an environment where everyone is looking to help you, and help you grow. As a senior, this is my last World Conference as a student and as a member of the Niagara University Student Chapter. I could not be more excited about the opportunities and challenges that await me in the future. The day concluded with a chapter meeting and a review of what sessions we liked and also which sessions we didn’t enjoy so much. Then we were off to enjoy our night in San Antonio.
Sam Garra is a senior at Niagara University and is the Vice President of the Niagara University Student Chapter. San Antonio is Sam’s third World Conference.