How to Master CP: Advanced Tips

We asked Roxy Valencerina who is now an exchange student at the University of Melbourne, her take on CP.

Hey, it’s me! Ya girl, Roxy.

Today, I’m going to talk about class participation—or what us AIMians (definitely not our official collective class moniker lol) abbreviate as CP—, and how and why it’s an essential part of your #LifeAtAIM.

Soooo, why even bother with CP?

Okay, friend, let’s break it down. As MBA candidates, we’re all being trained to become the best and most critical thought leaders in our future fields. We’re learning how to take a myriad of information, analyze it, and then use it make decisions. It’s about trying to convince a whole bunch of important people that your opinions are sound and that they matter. CP then trains you to throw your hat in the ring with dazzling confidence. After all, why go through the uphill battle of MBA if you’re only going to sit back and watch?

Okay, you’ve sold me on CP. Now how do I be the very best at it like no one ever was?

Making sure what you’re saying is valuable to the class takes practice. So, here are a few things you need to know.

  1. Prepare for battle days before

Let’s face it: reading mounds of case studies and reference materials are part of business school. Ultimately though, the value of soaking up all that knowledge comes to light during class discussion the next day. You’d have plenty to say and you’d have every reason to shoot your hand up in the air like Hermione. Look at Hermione. Be Hermione.

Hermione Tip: Like this brave little witch, don’t be afraid to be the first to recite in a class discussion. Note: Case facts aren’t really that interesting because odds are, everyone knows about what you’re saying. Make sure you have a POV about the case before you get to class. It’s also a great jumping point for an awesome discourse.

  1. Connecting your CP from others’ CP

So let’s say you didn’t want to start the discussion, cool, that’s fine. The challenge now is creating your own insights on the spot. There is extreme value in understanding your mate’s point and adding value to it. Agree or disagree, why not. Just make sure you have a point. The case study method (a global method which is the AIM method, FYI!) encourages this connectedness of ideas. If you embrace this method, mega brownie points are in your future.

Mega Brownie Points Tip: Working in your own work experience is a sure fire way to sprinkle some spice and sense into your CP. Don’t be afraid to share what you know. But you know, within reason (see mema below).

  1. There is such a thing as bad CP

Imagine a hoppin’ class discussion then all of a sudden, ~*boom*~, it’s your worst fears confirmed — the mema*. It’s the kind of eye-roll inducing CP that came from who knows where. Mema CPs include points that are painfully stating the obvious, points that have been already discussed, or have no connection to the discussion whatsoever. Look, the beauty of the case study method is the ability to build a thoughtful, insightful , and cohesive class contributed deliberation. Embrace the flow, don’t start just blubbering about Star Trek in a Star Wars discussion.

Anti-MEMA Tip: Listen to what your classmates are saying. Being able to add insight and connect others’ CPs are truly the gold standards of recitation.

  1. Don’t be afraid to CP!

Alright, I hope I didn’t scare you so much that you hesitate to throw your hand in the air and wave it like you just don’t care. Being able to formulate and muster thoughtful CP is really tough, but not CP-ing at all makes mastering it even tougher. Sure, not all CPs you have will be stellar, but as the wise Chumbawamba said, “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you are never gonna keep me down.”

Facing Your Fear Tip: Write down what you want to say. It’s not the best way to CP, but it’s a good way to maintain your point when you CP. And really, just raise your hand!

Truth be told, CP helps when you’re out there in the real world. You’re graduating from an institution that molds your mind to be the best business person you can be. Practice your CP, and you’d be making valuable contributions in the board room in no time.

*Why, hello our foreign friends! Mema, a one word slang for Me Masabe, is a Tagalog word that roughly translates to “for the sake of saying.” It’s basically speaking without a point and just saying for the sake of producing noise from your mouth. Nobody likes a mema.

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