by Thomas Wall
When they say to put your best foot forward, some people, like Professor Daniel Moser, mean it literally.
Moser, communications professor at the School of Communication and for the Business Leadership program at the School of Professional Studies led students from the MSLCE program in a Professional Presentations workshop called You’re Always On: Delivering Compelling Presentations. Among the verbal and non-verbal communication techniques he taught students was the idea that – yes – your best foot should literally be put forward:
“Your feet are generally pointed in the direction you want to be going,” said Moser. “So, when you’re in a job interview, and your feet are pointed away from the interviewer, and toward the door, that’s usually a sign to them that you’d rather not be there. So turn your body, turn your feet, and face them.”
Moser’s workshop focused on preparing MSCLE students to give effective presentations, be more comfortable speaking in public, and taught them good techniques, such as strong body language, to use when interviewing for jobs. He conveyed concepts such as how to best structure your thoughts, how to speak clearly and concisely, and what to do with your hands when you talk (something I’ve always struggled with!).
Some students found the workshop, in addition to providing valuable information, to also be a bit of a break in the midst of what has become a busy and hectic part of the fall quarter between midterms and final projects.
“I appreciated his emphasis on mindfulness, embodying your message and releasing physical tension while giving presentations,” said Brenna Cronin, an MSLCE student who began this past quarter. “As a yoga instructor, these principals are very important to me and I’m glad he incorporated them into this seminar.”
Dana Degnan is an MSLCE student who started in the winter quarter this year. This workshop was particularly impactful for her, as she is well into her job search, with graduation just a few weeks away.
“I really got a lot out of the mock interview exercise we did at the end of the workshop,” Degnan said. “It helped me learn what I needed to work on, but also some of my strengths at this critical time for me. Plus, he was such a dynamic speaker, so I really enjoyed the whole session.”
One final piece of advice from Moser was that every good presentation, speech, or other communication vehicle (such as articles for the program’s website) all need one final thing to be effective: they need to stick the landing. So, Professor Moser, I hope you approve!
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