My Presentation Experience with the Malaysian Scouts

By: Sandra Lee

Presenting in front of Malaysian Scouts was not as awful as I imagined.

If you still do not know what I look like, click on the “meet the contingent” icon on our landing page. My name is Sandra. I am the one who failed to face the right direction.

You might see that I am a 5ft tall stubby little Asian girl with a head full of fly-away hairs. As Vivian announced my name to stand up in front of the crowd, I can feel my hair soaring towards the ceiling like it was trying to form a crown behind my bangs. It was all I could think about; that people were going to wonder why this mouth-breather would lecture about personal development. After ten minutes of hyperventilating behind the stage, I could feel the eager lump in my throat that wanted to erupt once I pull the mic towards my face. I felt like I was going to welt out a big fat burp. The feeling was justified because I did that once during a choir concert in my earlier years. It was momentous.

It wasn’t as awful as I imagined. It was actually quite the opposite.

I was reminded of a few things that afternoon:

The first: Malaysian Scouts are friendly all the time. If they can support my friends during their presentations, I’m sure that they could support me as well. They did a fine job in reminding me that Scouts should always trust each other for support. Not just because it is Scout Law, but mostly because Scouts are generally good people who do stuff like that.


The Second: It is absolutely okay to improvise. The only people who have to memorize a script to deliver a stellar performance are actors. As long as you know your main points and can articulate these points well, it will not matter if what you say is not exactly what you wrote down. This leads to my next point.

The Third: If you blank and do not remember what you wrote, go with your gut. After practicing this speech for a few months, you will know what you want to say. Even if you want to say a million other things, just pick one. Ensure that you can form full coherent sentences that are relevant, and the crowd won’t even notice.

The Fourth: Turn “own the stage” to “be familiar with the stage”. When I asked for presentation advice, I was frequently told to act like I own the stage. I couldn’t, so I settled for knowing what the stage looks like and to figure out where I can stand. I think a reason why that piece of advice works well for a lot of people is because it helps them feel less small in comparison to the large empty stage and the vast audience. I argue that being familiar with the stage is enough. It is just like knowing the streets around your city. Once you know where all the major streets are, the city doesn’t seem as big. Eventually, you will know how to comfortably fit yourself in.


The Final: Presenting more will only make you a better presenter. If this international service project has taught me anything, it is that you won’t get anywhere if you won’t do anything.

I miss the spotlight. I think I want to present some more.


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