This past Friday, I had the opportunity to present my last five weeks' experience as in intern at Indium Corporation. It is surprising that half of the intern program has already gone by. When I first started here, ten weeks sounded like a long time. But, you know what they say, time flies when you're having fun.
The other nine interns and myself all had a chance to show some managers and other Indium Corporation personnel what we have worked on and what we've learned. This event was called "Bragging Day." I'm not one to brag, but it did feel good to share my experiences and what I've learned. Although many people, myself included, aren't overly fond of public speaking, this was a good way to put my presentation skills to the test. I have found that practicing your presentation in front of others is key. This allows you to get instant feedback on your body language, tone, and pace which are all important things to consider when presenting. One thing that was different for the Bragging Day presentation is that we had a time limit of 5 minutes. For presentations that I had done in school, it always felt like I was hard-pressed to fill a long time requirement, but, in this case, it was difficult to talk about all the things I wanted to cover in 5 minutes or less. That is another reason why it is so important to practice; that way you can get a feel for how long your presentation is.
One unexpected twist to the presentation format was that we presented using the "Dale Carnegie Style". This means that whoever is next up to present will be "on deck", giving that person an opportunity to prepare and focus. That person will then go up and present and the person going after will be "on deck," and so on and so forth. Since we had a time limit of five minutes, another Dale Carnegie teaching tool is to announce when you have a minute left and when time is up. Since the timekeeper announced their warnings abruptly, it was jarring for some who were focused on presenting. The purpose of it is to help make you more comfortable under pressure while presenting.
When it was my turn to go "on deck", I looked over my note cards one last time, composed myself, and took a deep breath. The topics that I chose to discuss were two of the projects that I've been working on and how I hope to benefit from my time at Indium Corporation. At the end of each presentation, at least one question was asked and positive feedback was given. I found the feedback to be very useful in improving my presentation skills which will prove to be indispensable as a soon-to-be engineer.