It is so important to be forever on the quest for knowledge, because I definitely believe that knowledge is power. This is why I jumped on the chance when I was offered to attend a masterclass for Presenting and Blogging by University of Arts London. Always having been fascinated by Language, I knew this was the masterclass for me.
The masterclass was held in D3- Dubai Design District, running from 11 am to 3 pm, and our tutor for the day was Steve Elmes. There were only 8 of us “students” in total, which was a nice number to work with I think, because we all got to know each other well.
The session began with a short introduction from Steve, followed by “Speed Networking”, where we got out of our seats and spoke to each other for a minute before turning to the next person. It was interesting to find out about everyone’s blogging backgrounds and the current projects they were all working on. From here on, we dived straight into use of language in blogging, identifying our blog genres and when to use the two styles of writing: Formal and Informal.
The class was very interactive, with a good mixture between activities and listening to Steve. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Steve had taken the time to look at each of our blogs and had printed out our About Me pages. It was then an open discussion where each of us got to critique each other’s language used and suggest ways in which we could improve it. I think this was the most beneficial part of the class, as it was custom made advice, not the general kind we all get in most of the classes we attend. I definitely learnt a lot from this exercise, not just from the advice given to me about my own About Me page, but from discussing the rest too.
Continuing on from this, we looked at complex sentences, of which relative clauses is something I struggle with a lot, so it was nice to finally be taught how to use them correctly. As a native speaker, using the correct words for other complex sentences came naturally, but I could see this was very helpful for others that were not as confident in using such clauses and preposition phrases.
Lastly, we concentrated on Presentation. Though, my blogging does not currently require me to present my ideas orally on a daily basis, it was definitely something I had to do very much during my university years whilst studying Architecture. Presenting has become second nature to me, therefore I knew most of what Steve was talking to us about, yet it was delivered in an interesting fashion and there were still things I could learn. We looked at the good and bad habits whilst presenting as well as signposting language. Steve gave us a few handouts, with some very useful weblinks for us to look into later pertaining to the topics we discussed. Our last exercise where we took apart an introduction speech was very interesting, as we were forced to identify how we naturally pause between sentences and where the right places to pause were. Defragmenting a script in this way was very useful to know.
Over all, it was a very informative session as well as being very relaxed. The course that Steve talked us through was in fact meant to span over a week, so he only highlighted the key points for the few hours that we were there and I think he did so brilliantly.
The setting of the classroom also took me back to my college and university days, especially being taught by a British tutor, with the same sense of humour and British small talk I witnessed during my education. This brought with it a sense of nostalgia, especially sharing this experience with students from such diverse backgrounds.
Though I felt that the material we were given was very much fashion blogger centric, being a family and lifestyle blogger, it was still applicable to bloggers in general. I hope to use all the lessons that I learnt during this short masterclass to improve my writing from here on, and has spurred me on to continue seeking knowledge, especially in terms of language.
I leave with you photos of the class members, as well as Steve himself (pictured in the blue shirt). Also, I know it looks as if the majority of us co-ordinated our outfits to a Black and White theme, but I promise we didn’t! Ha!
If you are interested in fashion, living in Dubai, London College of Fashion are offering some great short courses, delivered by industry professionals, so log on to their website to find out more.
Note: This post is NOT sponsored. All views and opinions expressed above are honest and solely my own.