Professionalization through presentation (10/12):

Currently our class is working in teams for group presentations. As part of a larger unit, their task is to first work on an informal presentation for the class on collaborative software such as Skype, Adobe Connect, Dropbox, etc.. This exercise gives them a chance to both practice speaking in front of an audience of their peers (other students) as well as a "manager" (me).

In our class discussion, I mentioned the two levels of presentation approach: formal and informal. As this class' focus is on how to prepare their writing and work for the professional environment it's essential to gauge who the audience is. As Sullivan, Porter and Johnson-Eilola noted, if you approach the audience in a formal way "noticing and reinforcing the distance between speaker and audience" (Professional Writing Online). Formal presentations generally occur in front of unfamiliar audiences (usually larger) with upper-level managers, whereas the informal presentation will generally be with other teams and co-workers.

The informal presentation is where a majority of business decisions are made and as such, it's important for students to be aware of things such as level of technical detail you wish to convey, audience materials, and even dress. The larger project the class-teams are working on is a marketing proposal for a fictional business (which I will describe in greater detail in the next blog). As such, the teams will be working on both an introductory backgrounder (or white paper) that introduces their marketing company, and a formal proposal which will outline why their company should be "hired" for the project.

Alumni Liaison

Questions/answers with a recent ECE grad

Ryne Rayburn