Reflective writing provides “evidence of reflective thinking” (Thorpe, 2010, p. 2) and generally involves the writer looking at back at tasks that have been undertaken and considering what improvements need to be made. In order to conduct a reflective statement for a presentation that has been carried out Gibbs (1988, p. 1) model of reflection ought to be used. This enables the writer to provide a description of what happened and then consider what thoughts and feelings they have about the presentation. An evaluation of the good and bad points is then provided and an analysis as to what affected the outcome is made. Once this has been done a conclusion is then drawn about what changes could be made in order to improve future presentations. In this reflective assignment I will therefore write a reflective account of how the performance went by considering the strengths and weaknesses as well as any feelings I had when conducting the tasks (Moon, 2013, p. 140).
Outline of law
The presentation was based upon the advantages and disadvantages of Limited Liability Partnership’s (LLPs) and whether LLPs have been taken up by many professional (unlimited) partnerships. Accordingly, it was thus made clear that LLPs are advantageous in that partners of LLPs have limited liabilities (Cody et al, 2007, p. 82) and are therefore not responsible for another partner’s misconduct or negligence (Haywood, 2010, p. 546). As such, there is a reduced risk to the personal wealth of all partners from creditor’s claims. LLPs also provide great flexibility for partners in that they facilitate participation in the management and maintenance of the partnership (Rouch and Smethurst, 2004, p. 46). Moreover, because LLPs require registration at Companies House, these types of partnerships may give the perception that they are much more substantial than they actually are. LLPs do, however, have a number of disadvantages including the lack of privacy since all financial information must be disclosed to the public (Morris, 2001, p. 161). In addition, there is also the requirement for an LLP agreement which may not be desirable for many partnerships. LLPs are also taxed in the same way as sole traders and traditional partnerships and so do not obtain the same tax benefits that a Limited Liability Company would receive. The limited liability protection that is provided may also lead to trade suppliers being unwilling to provide credit to the partnership as they may perceive the protection as a high risk for themselves. If an LLP fails, no redress would be provided to the partners even if they are owed money (Murray, 1998, p. 15).
The strengths and weakness of the workings of group
In undertaking the above presentation, I was provided with the opportunity to work as part of group. In doing so, I was able to pool my ideas together with others and understand the advantages and disadvantages of LLPs from different perspectives. In addition, any complex problems that I faced were more easily tackled since I was able to discuss the problems with the others in the group and therefore gain relevant feedback. As a group, we were able to meet up in order to work on the presentation together, which enabled us to generate ideas that we may not have come up with individually. The end product was therefore a success because of the fact that everyone in the group was able to contribute to what was being said.
Although it was enjoyable working with other people, there were many drawbacks of the workings of the group. This was evidenced by the lack of team work that existed at times as some individuals provided more input than others. As a result, I often found myself taking the leading position on this assignment as opposed to working with the group as equals and I subsequently ended up providing the group with the appropriate guidance needed to conduct the presentation. This could have been due to the fact that I was better at organising what needed to be addressed, whereas the others in the group were better at expressing their opinions. When we were initially provided with the instructions for the presentation, we all agreed that it was best to start off by each giving our own opinions as to what we thought would work best for this particular topic. It was then decided that each individual ought to research a different matter on the topic. Some parts of the research that was gathered were, however, stronger than other parts and so further clarification was needed.
Nevertheless, one of the main things that I learnt from this process was the acceptance of other people’s ideas and opinions. At times it was difficult to decide whose particular research was the most useful and it seemed as though the information being gathered was not sufficient enough to convey the issues surrounding LLPs within our presentation. Hence, it would have been a lot better if the group had communicated with each other more effectively and were thus prepared to get more involved with the team (Maughan & Webb, 2001, p. 1). This is because, it seemed as though a lot of independent work was still be undertaken for this assignment even though it was a group project. This had a significant impact upon the overall presentation as it appeared that the group had not worked together in considering the advantages and disadvantages of LLPs. This could have largely been due to the difficulty it was in getting groups members together since we had to find an appropriate time that was convenient for everyone in the group. This was quite difficult to achieve as we had to figure out a time that would suit the needs of all and then email each other to find out if this was in fact appropriate.
The strengths and weakness of presentation
The presentation skills of each individual in the group were sufficient in that we all maintained a fair level of eye contact and an appropriate use of language throughout. We also maintained a very good pace and I became aware of my strong expressive voice and powerful eye contact. The presentation was also well organised and we had memorised what we had included in the presentation so there was little need to script read. Overall, the presentation was well delivered and organised in an a clear concise manner that allowed the reader to easily identify the advantages and disadvantages of LLPs.
In conducting the presentation I felt that I lacked the ability to put my audience at ease because of the lack of clarity that existed in the presentation. Better preparation would have rectified this, yet because of the complexities that existed within the group it was extremely difficult to prepare as well as we should have done. Furthermore, although I had the ability to explain the different concepts of LLPs clearly, I was unable to answer the question that was put to me at the end of the presentation appropriately. As a result, it is evident that further reading on the topic would have been beneficial as it would have enhanced my knowledge and understanding of LLPs and would have provided me with the ability to answer any questions that were put to me. The tone of my voice could also have been a little more varied and I could have had greater confidence in the subject matter. More preparation would have resolved this as well as further collaboration with the other group members. In addition, we also had a lack of skill when it came to using PowerPoint and so it would have been better if we had got ourselves familiar with the software before making the presentation.
How any weaknesses can be overcome in the future?
Whilst there were certain parts that appeared to be satisfactory, such as the appropriate level of eye contact and use of language, it has become evident that my presentation lacked any clarity. As such, I will ensure that future presentations will be a lot more clear and concise. This can be achieved through preparation and ensuring that greater efforts are made to communicate with the group. Preparation and practice would also allow me to answer questions from the audience with greater confidence and I would have a better understanding of the topic (Marathe, 2007, p. 7). I would also practice the tone of my voice in order to ensure that more variance was provided throughout. In relation to the use of PowerPoint, I would ensure that I am fully aware of how the software works so that difficulties do not arise during the actual presentation.
What you learnt about teamwork and oral presentation skills
After listening to the feedback I received following my presentation, I have learnt that there are certain elements of my teamwork and presentation skills that need improvement. For teamwork to be effective, all members of the group need to be confident in the subject matter and willing to participate through group discussions. This will ensure that the ideas are expressed with greater clarity and the nature of each individual’s contribution will be better understood. I also learnt that in order for a team to be successful, we need to be more efficient with resources and therefore need to manage time more effectively. From this experience, I also learnt the complexities that can arise from trying to collaborate with others and although I was often left frustrated, it all came together in the end. In effect, it became evident that different ideas are often generated when collaborating with others, yet it is important that all group members listen to each other as well as providing their own information. For oral presentations to be effective, it is important that the presenters know the subject matter inside and out as this will become clear to the audience. Confidence is thereby important for a successful presentation to be conducted, which can be conveyed through eye contact. This provides an element of intimacy and makes the audience feel comfortable. In addition, too much information should not be provided to the audience as this will divert their attention away from the most important points. Preparation is also essential, especially for presenters who lack experience, because those who do not prepare as well end up going off on tangents.
Cody, T., Hopkins, D. A., Perlman, L. A., and Kalteux, L. L., (2007) Limited Liability Companies, Business & Economics, 9th Edition.
Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Methods, SCED, Birmingham.
Haywood, J. (2010) LLP Members: How Limited is Your LiabilityPart 1, Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, Volume 9, Issue 9.
Marathe, M. (2007) The Successful Speaker: 273 Tips for Powerful Presentations, Lulu.
Maughan, C., and Webb, J., (2001). Small group learning and assessment. Retrieved August 01, 2007, from the Higher Education Academy accessed 01 May 2013.
Moon, J. A. (2013) A Handbook of Reflective and Experimental Learning: Theory and Practice, Routledge.
Morris, G. D., (2001) Limited Liability Partnerships, Tolley’s Practical Business Fortnightly for Senior Administrators, Volume 24, Issue 21.
Murray, C. (1998) Comment – Take it to the Limit, Law Society Gazette, Volume 95, Issue 40.
Rouch, D. and Smethhurst, J. (2004) Limited Liability Partnerships: Flexing the Body Corporate, Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, Volume 49, Issue 2.
Thorpe, K. (2010) Reflective Learning Journals: From Concept to Practice, Reflective Practice: International Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Volume 5, Issue 3.
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