Interviewer: So in your company, for instance, how
often is someone going to have to be giving a presentation? As a new graduate, you’re probably probably going to talk within your team for example a team of engineers you’re probably going to talk within that group, on a meeting basis, every week. As far as major-type presentations that you bring
up to the management group, it may be once a month or once every three months. But you
need to be prepared for that. A lot of people get nervous or, you know, they want to shy
away from doing these things. I would tell everybody to take the opportunity every time they get the chance and make it better than the last time. About every other day we have engineers go into the presentations. These
days we’re tasking our young engineers with more and more responsibilities and they are making power point presentations and they are going up in front of some critical
customers and making presentations. As you move up in the company,
you do more presentations. If you’re a fairly new individual, you would be doing a lot of
the groundwork, like in my groups I always gave the brand new people the opportunity
to interact with folks outside our organization that way they could demonstrate whether they
could do it or not. Being able to speak well, be able to speak clearly, be able to convey
your ideas both graphically and verbally is very important. I expect you to be
able to put together a power point presentation and be able to stand in front pf people and
explain things to them and just help them understand and you have to attack it on a
variety of levels. When you’re talking to someone you can communicate on so many levels.
And the more the better. Presentation goals are key.
You need to be able to speak publically, you need to be able to speak in front of an audience,
and you need to understand that what you’re saying has meaning to whoever we’re talking
to, understand that who that audience is. It’s all in how you come across to people.
Your confidence, your experience, your knowledge has to be pulled into that, but you have to
exude the confidence. You have to, and you have to be truthful, everything you do has
to be truthful, but presentations tell people who you are and that’s generally how people
get noticed initially. You gotta have the fundamental building blocks of the technical
skills and those types of things, but as far as moving up, it becomes people skills. It
becomes interactions with other individuals that are gonna make the difference between
whether you’re gonna stay as a technical type person or you’re gonna move into more
of a management role. Question: and how important is that going to be to your success, as far as moving up in the company? Well if you can’t communicate, you can’t move up. If you’re the kind
of person who wants to stay in the same job your whole life and become a technical expert,
and basically you know, hermit yourself into your cubicle, you can do that. But if you
want move up and do more interesting things and get out and become broader, then communication skills are going to be a very good way of getting there. The more people that know you, the more people that know you, you kind of have to get around… Where I work there are a lot of opportunities to
go out recruiting but they don’t exactly advertise that. If you don’t communicate,
talk with your managers go out and ask people that have experience you’re not going to learn things or get the opportunities that other people are gonna get. You can’t just be technical in our organization. I’d say most consultant organizations require strong analytical people
who understand how to communicate their ideas.