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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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