2018. September 20., Thursday

Interview with Arailym Seiitkhanova

Winner of Presentation Techniques Competition, University Round

Please, introduce yourself in a few words.
Oh no, I am super introverted and I do not know what to say (hahaha). Anyway, my name is Arailym Seiitkhanova and I am 19 years old. I come from the Eastern part of Kazakhstan and I have been studying in Szeged for 2 years in the bachelor programme at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. Before moving to Hungary, I studied International Law at a university in my country, but then I realized it was not my thing. So now I am studying business!

How did your interest/passion for public speaking develop?
Actually, I have always been interested in Ted Talks. When I was at high school, I also participated in the TEDXOskemen event, which took place in my hometown. As I said, I have been interested in public speaking since my childhood, and this is actually weird since I am such an introverted person, especially with my relatives. In my family, I am a “listener” kind of person. However, when it comes to lessons and university activities, I enjoy interacting and I like sharing my opinion. This is funny for me, because when I am in the university I am an Arailym that my family does not know. This probably happened because when I came here, I got the chance to develop my skills during the lessons, clubs and extra activities.

Do you think public speaking is an important skill for business students? Why do you believe so?
I think it is because as students we always need to present our ideas in the classes. If you are not creative enough and if you do not present your ideas in a different and enthusiastic way, you will not be able to stand out from the crowd. Actually, the need to give a presentation in many of our courses at the faculty was one of the reasons that pushed me to take part in this competition. Anyway, I think that public speaking is a skill essential not only for business students, but for everyone. In nowadays world, you have to know how to talk and express your ideas to be noticed and to compete. You need to know how to make others listen to you.

As the winner of the University’s presentation competition, you are surely an outstanding presenter. What do you think are your main strengths as a public speaker?
Well, I do not know (haha). Honestly, I was very interested in the topic I chose and I literally loved presenting about it. If I do not like the topic, I am not able to give my best. This is also the reason why I chose to participate only in the Presentation Technique Competition and not in Prezilimpia, as the topic chosen for that was not among my interests. Generally, presenting about a topic I believe in makes me more motivated and I think I am able to transmit this enthusiasm to the audience. This is probably my strength.

How did you prepare for the competition?
When I took part in this competition last year, I concentrated a lot on the design of my presentation and not that much on the way I was presenting. Then, I understood that presenting in an original style could be as important (or more) than the design. Therefore, this year I did not use any template, just a white screen and pictures. To make my presentation unique, I used cartoon characters to make it more interesting and entertaining. For the topic, I knew what I wanted to present about and I just had to research a little about it. When I wanted to practice my speech, I waited for the sun to go down and I stood in front of the window of my room while outside it was dark, because I do not have a big mirror that helps me in this (haha). Also, this semester I have a presentation skills course and the teacher helped me training for this competition.

How did you feel on the day of the competition?
I felt so bad (haha). Before the competition, my professor told me that our Faculty won two years in a row and I felt so responsible. I wanted our faculty to win once more. Plus, everyone presented in Hungarian and the whole event was in Hungarian, so at a certain point I did not really know what was going on. Also, there was no microphone because they wanted us to use our natural voice and I was worried about that, too.

What topic did you present? Why did you choose that topic?
My topic was about neuro-marketing. I chose it because it is something quite new in marketing, as there is only little research conducted on brain activities and how our brain reacts to certain advertisements. The focus of my presentation was specifically about “brain vs. heart” and the main message I wanted to give was that even brain was not rational in the end, because it could be influenced as easily as the heart.

What did you learn from this experience?
I learnt that support was important. For example, in the audience there were so many people supporting the competitors and at the beginning I felt I knew no one. But then, when some professors and people from the faculty came, I felt supported and it gave me the motivation to present. So yes, I learnt support is important when you are under pressure.

What would you say to other students who would like to improve their presentation skills? What kind of advice would you give them?
I think students should learn how to share their opinion and talk in public without being afraid of others’ reaction. There is no need to be shy when it is time to give a presentation, especially when you believe in what you are saying and you are prepared.

What are your future plans? In which field would you see yourself in?
As for my career, I would like to work either in the marketing field or in management. Also, one day, I would like to participate in the TEDX, as it is my life dream. Since I was at high school, I have always dreamt to go to California and take part in this event. Let’s hope I will get this great chance!

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