How the Young Engineers Society will attempt to turn you into a public speaking pro
13 October 2015
Good communication skills have never been so important for an engineer. Employers consistently rank public speaking skills as one of the top skills they look for in employees – you might have to talk about your organisation at a conference or make a presentation on a recent project at a team meeting. Good public speaking skills are important in other areas of our lives as well. We might be asked to make a speech at a wedding, deliver a eulogy for a loved one, or give an inspiring speech to a group of charity volunteers.
The Young Engineers Society (YES) Speaking Group has been meeting at Engineers Ireland each month since October 2014, with the aim of providing young engineering professionals and students with an opportunity to practise and improve communication, speaking and presenting skills in a relaxed and supportive environment of their peers.
The format of each evening usually begins with a short speech from a guest professional speaker, followed by an informative Q&A session. Next there are a number of slots (five to seven minutes) available for attendees to practice their public speaking on topics of their choice. Audience members complete structured evaluation forms and provide feedback to each speaker.
The speeches are also videoed, and a copy is sent to the speaker allowing them to self-assess in their own time. We conclude the evening with an interactive off the cuff speaking session, designed to help attendees develop their ability to organise their thoughts quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic for one to two minutes.
The YES speaking group has continued to grow in size since its inception. We now meet on the third Tuesday of every month at Engineers Ireland, Clyde Road. Here is what some of our regular attendees have to say:
“The meetings have a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Everyone is there for the same reason and it is a team effort. The topics of the speeches are open, with the group churning out engaging, interesting and humorous speeches from which we all learn a thing or two. The duration of speeches is an easy five to seven minutes, which amounts to over an hour of valuable practice during the year. Beneficial feedback is given to every speaker, and it is great to sit back and note how much everyone has improved over the months.” Sheila Nolan – graduate engineer with Roughan & O’Donovan Engineers.
“I initially joined the YES speaking group as an audience member but have been returning every month as a speaker! It’s a great opportunity to practice public speaking in a relaxed yet professional manner which can easily fit into a busy schedule. My favourite part of the night is the ‘off the cuff’ speaking which evokes some very interesting, unique and often humorous resonses.” Myles Redmond – graduate engineer with BT Ireland.
“The YES speaking group has allowed me to identify the key elements which make a good public speaker. The emphasis placed on how you speak, move and engage with your audience rather than just what you say has been very insightful. I would encourage any young professional or student interested in their professional development to attend.” Billy Delaney – engineering student, NUI Galway.
So why not come along to find out what it’s all about? The group will next meet on Tuesday, October 20. Booking details are available on the Events Brief and on the Young Engineers Society Facebook and LinkedIn groups. For any queries, please contact Dave Linehan at firstname.lastname@example.org