Though I was a minuscule figure in SIFE UMT, I felt their sorrow and distress after losing in the National SIFE Competition recently. Reasons of loss ranges from the political issues and secret agendas behind certain parties to our slight weakness in presenting our strong, powerful cases. The word slight is purposefully chosen because to other judges who are first speakers of English, they did not see any flaw in SIFE UMT presentations.
However, what I learn in life is never point fingers to blame and reprimand anyone, but to see and criticise my own weaknesses to improve and trade my failure to become a huge success in the future. I always believe that Allah didn't give what we want, but He always give us what we NEED.
But, there is the issue of RIGHTS. Do we have the right to win if another team actually fibbed their projects? In Islam, we need to fight for our right, using the right paths and procedures.
Coming back to the issue of self-improvement. One of the critical agenda during SIFE Competition is the presentation of our laughter and smile, sweat and tears in less than 25 minutes. What do we need to do to achieve that brilliantly?
The need to polish the presentation skills.
I watched Nur Kasih on TV3 because I believed in their scenes. I take time to watch Leverage on AXN because I believe those con artiste. The key word here is BELIEVE.
Presentations need to be believable, it has to be presented with passion and own deep, very deep interest. Presentations are not script memorising and regurgitating process. Well, it can be the first step of it, but we need to move further than the first step. It needs to come from the heart, as if you believe and are passionate towards the Cambodian children, the loneliness of the Single Moms, the impoverish fishermen etc.
Wanie, Zoofar, Ieja, A-an, Yudha and Fuzah: The 'believers' presenting.
I watched Nur Kasih because the story line was meaningful and engaging. Why? I do have friends who were similar to the devilish Adam in Australia. I could relate to Nur.
Presentations need to be meaningful, engaging and related to the audience. How do we do it? We need to include the audience in the emotional dramas that we have been through. This is when the video clippings play its essential role. For instance, using the high impact visuals that can move emotions of the crowd.
Engaging and relating to the audience also mean interacting with the crowd during presentation. Audience awareness is an essential skill in any presentation. By smiling, keeping eye contact as well as appropriate body gesture, these will help the audience, if not all, at least the judges, to stay focus on the presentation.
Tone awareness and speaking pace are also issues to take note. But I believe that we have scored 5 stars on these. Well done!
One of my idols in smart presentations is the Apple man - iSteve Jobs. In his presentations during the numerous launches of Apple products, he keeps his sentences very simple. Minimal amount of word used in a sentence. This has the effect of the audience to want to know more and more about the product (or projects).
When visual aids were used, he use graphics or short phrases per slide - which highlights the key point of our speech. Be selective and precise. In addition, iSteve Jobs always use black/dark blue background and white font. Simple but effective. I want to be presenting as iAzza one day, insha Allah.
All in all, despite our defeat, I still believe that Allah knows best. I totally agree with Ustazah Faizah when she mentioned that Allah didn't give what we want, but He always give us what we NEED. And I second Ustaz Riswadi's point saying that we left the competition with dignity, and stand tall with the other respected team.
A chunk of SIFE UMT Team with team Advisor, Ust Riswadi.
So guys, we have learned tonnes from the SIFE experience itself. Wanie's statement in the SIFE UMT's FB page was eloquently put, 'helping people meant a whole lot then just winning... our self satisfaction, our emotion, are being greatly impacted. losing is not he end of us... '.
Never give up because the rainbow will appear after the rain, insha Allah. I believe in you, SIFE UMT!