Pulling a Presentation Out a Hat:

Learning Soft Skills “Magic” from Xccelerated

In May, students from the University of Utrecht came together for the Study Association A – Eskwadraat’s annual career month. This year, they invited Mahlia and Samantha from Xccelerated to give a soft skills workshop on presenting. Here’s some of the “magic” we learned.

Refresh Some Basics

Over lunch from Subway, we went over some presenting basics and the differences between a long, informative presentation, a quick pitch, and telling a story. After this introduction, we were ready to jump in and start presenting.

Playing Roulette – Keep Your Head Cool

Mahlia had prepared an exciting workshop to teach the students to think quickly and keep their head cool when presenting. We all wrote down random subjects, ranging from the European Union to feeding ducks and put them in a nice hat that Mahlia brought.

Students then chose a random subject and had to give a presentation on it. However, they had to relate their subject to the presentation slides which were actually a collection of many random unrelated stock images. So the subject of the European Union had to be related to an image of a bunny wearing a hat. This led to some hilarious improvisations which made the workshop not only informative but also quite amusing.

It is not easy to give a nice presentation without preparing anything beforehand, but this can happen in real-life cases at companies. All in all we learned a lot in this workshop. An important lesson was that some silence in a presentation can be a welcome break from a stream of information.

With the knowledge we gained here we are one step closer to gaining a professional career after our studies. We hope to welcome the Xccelerated team again to teach us more soft skills “magic” in the future.

Ischa Vieten