This week I had the distinct pleasure of teaching “Networking 101” to a large group of students at Bucks County Community College. Who knew this would be a popular topic among the business students at Bucks. I knew that some of the educators had told their students there was extra credit in it for them and that they expected 20-30 students to attend, but the turnout was more than expected.
I arrived a little early and the room was already filling up. I wondered briefly if they were there for the free food, it looked really delicious. What was supposed to be a nice size manageable group turned out to be a large crowd of over 75 students with a few faculty mixed in.
Preparing for this group of interested and eager students was fun. I needed to think about my presentation from their perspective. How could I make my presentation interesting and relatable to college students? Here are a few tips to help you if you ever find yourself prepping for a group of college kids:
- Know your material and how it relates to your audience. Young adults think differently, thank God I have two of my own and know a little about relating to them.
- Visuals! Pictures make an impression. When you know your material it’s easy to recall your talking points and pictures mixed with a little humor helps.
- Just in case you don’t feel comfortable with recall…take a written outline with you. When I use my laptop I can see my notes during the presentation.
- Always have your presentation on a flash drive. You never know when you might need to use their equipment instead of your own. That’s what happened to me. Luckily I had a flash drive in my bag and transferred the file quickly.
- Include your audience. Draw them in by asking them questions, sharing things that they can relate to, or asking them to share something.
I really enjoyed meeting many of the students after the presentation was over. A number of them introduced themselves and thanked me for sharing. The number one comment was that they were unaware that they need to have a prepared message for networking. I feel blessed to have shared some insightful information with these students and am looking forward to going back again.