The University of Szeged Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, the Association for Marketing Research and Education and the Ezabeszéd Toastmasters Retorika Klub organized the event of Prezilimpia in 2021 in an online form.
The national presentation competition is looking for the best presenters of the country every year since 2018. This year Malak Zarti, third year student of our Business Administration and Management BSc programme won the competition.
Where did you hear about the competition?
Our E-commerce teacher mentioned it to us, and I read about it on Coospace.
Did you have any previous experiences with participating at debating championships?
I have not participated in competitions before but I had an interest in this field because in school we practised debating in English classes. Last year I applied for the IDSA programme of the university (International Diplomatic Student Association) because I wanted to improve my communication, speaking and presentation skills. IDSA offers to practise debating skills in a professional environment. They organized an application process with an interview which was so successful that I further developed a passion for debating.
How did you prepare for the Prezilimpia competition?
The topic for this year was financial literacy. First I searched for articles and books about this topic, I brainstormed, then I planned the structure of my presentation. I also watched videos which helped me to prepare. Although I was preparing a lot, when doing the presentation I relied on spontaneity. We had to submit a recording. I recorded myself via Zoom at least ten times until I thought it was perfect.
This year the competition was held online. Did you find it more difficult to make your presentation via Zoom?
Making the presentation online was easier and harder at the same time. Only the person speaking was allowed to turn the camera on, so my technique was to envision the audience in front of me and envision to have eye-contact with them. It was difficult not have a face-to-face interaction, so you could just pretend to have an audience. In my presentation, I asked questions from the audience and I received replies via chat.
What have you learnt from this experience?
I have learnt that it is important not to doubt yourself. In the future, if I feel that I am capable of doing something, I will just go for it. You should believe in yourself because it is a learning process overall. It is not the success that matters; I also participated because of the experience which I truly enjoyed.
Can you mention some of the skills that improved as a result of participating?
I could apply in practice what we have learnt at the public speaking course like engaging with the audience, paying attention to body language and planning how to structure a presentation.
What would you advise for students who would like to participate next year?
You should definitely try it. You should not overthink the topic in advance but try to speak of experience and your knowledge. You can also learn a lot about communication, speaking and planning skills. Participants who qualified for the national level competition were assigned a professional mentor who also helped a lot to prepare.
I am curious what will be the topic next year. I might participate again.