How to Speak to Students

While some of the tips I learned are still practiced today, such as the water bottle trick to win a few seconds to think, some I have never used in practice, although I have tried to test them. The biggest failure was testing the advice "to feel confident in front of an audience, start presenting them in funny costumes. Luckily, it was in front of my parents, so my presentation ended without starting because I just couldn't talk from laughing.

Naturally, every speaker has their own tricks to help prepare themselves and get ready to speak in front of any audience. But my experience has shown that the best preparation comes from students. After speaking in front of a student audience, nothing is scary anymore. If only because no other audience evaluates so closely. And the weight of even one mistake in a speech in front of them is simply colossal.

Basic principles

The topic of the speech or master-class should not only be understandable and applicable in practice, but also useful for the students. The more pompous the university and the students' specialty, the less sensitive the feedback will be. Students are no longer at all interested in hearing about the activities of this or that company - they can find out such details as quickly as the speed of the mobile Internet allows. They are much more interested in learning practical skills as a result of the meeting: whether it is writing a resume, getting an interview, or an introduction to a specialty.

The language in which the communication is going on is also very important. Pompous 5 best motivational speeches with a hint of practical experience will be met with outright contempt in their eyes. It is important for today's students to be considered equal, and it does not matter who is in front of them: the CEO or a line manager. And the speaker should be ready for a dialogue as much as possible, regardless of whether the question is personal or professional.

The read master class should correlate with current realities. It's like with knowing how to count on bills when there's not a calculator just built into the coffee maker around. Watching and maybe learning is interesting for 1-2 times, but after that, quit. So the knowledge and skills you pass on should be useful here and now, or better yet, tomorrow or a year from now, not yesterday.

Absolutely any topic, even the most serious, can be transferred to their interests. As part of a workshop on finding a job to illustrate an example of patience and assiduity, I use MMORPG, not knitting.

Appearance plays a huge role. I decided to do an experiment: I had to read a job search workshop for students of the same university in banking, but from different groups. In the first case I came in dressed as a student. They looked at me contemptuously and pretended to listen. The second time I came in a designer dress. The attention was maximal. The same goes for almost all the students. To work with them well, you need to know which specialty you're going to. This allows you to make accents and attract attention. For example, almost all PR students are more interested in closed parties and red carpets. Therefore they more often ask about how many times in a month they will have to take part in events, rather than how long it takes to press clipping or organize this very event.

Willingness to take responsibility for their words. It is clear that every time you speak, you have to give real evidence and use existing facts. But here it is even more complicated. When communicating with students, you should understand that every word you use can be used against you. If you mention an MMORPG, be prepared that they will ask you not only about the game, server, and character class. Can for the sake of testing ask subtleties such as: "In what dungeon can fall out so-and-so item?" And woe if you do not answer because of ignorance. But if you answer, their recognition is immediate. So when trying to speak their language, you must be aware that this language must be the speaker's native one.

The first performance in front of students basically turns the feeling of the process upside down. After that there is nothing to be afraid of, because when you talk to them there is no opportunity to say "I'll write down a question and answer it in the mail". It's either here and now or never.