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Students impacted by presentation

Special to The Battalion

Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 00:09

'Present with Impact'

Vivek Karthikeyan

Public speaking is widely regarded as one of the most common fears for people. However, it is also considered one of the most valuable assets that a potential employer looks for when hiring.

Craig Valentine, the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking, spoke Monday night to students in the business and engineering departments to help them learn better presentation skills through his “Present with Impact” program.

It is the goal of the Business Student Council and the Student Engineers’ Council to educate its members on both how to be an effective public speaker, and the value of having this asset upon graduating.

“Raise your hand if you want to do anything in life,” Valentine said. “It was always my dream to be a full time professional speaker. If you want to be remembered, tell your story and make a point.”

Valentine is known as the ‘master storyteller,’ and has traveled the world in order to help speakers, executives and salespeople turn presentations into profits. Valentine gives as many as 160 presentations a year. He has traveled all over the U.S. as well as abroad in 14 different countries giving his presentations. He beat 25,000 other contestants from 14 different countries to take the title of World Champion of Public Speaking.

“The number one thing that stands between people and achieving their dreams is not something bad, it’s something good,” Valentine said. “It’s something they settle for.”

He has compiled an impressive list of achievements including winning Salesperson of the Year 3 times for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill’s Mid-Atlantic Division, Events Manager of the Year for the National Small Business Council, Congressional Achievement Award from the United States Congress for excellence in communications, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Johns Hopkins University, and hundreds of other speaking honors from all around the world.

Valentine encouraged students in attendance to not let the good get in the way of the best. He said the key to public speaking was to bring yourself to the stage.

“The very first thing you need to do is come up with a foundational phrase that is fewer than 10 words,” Valentine said. “It forces the speaker to be crystal clear on his message. There are incidences in your life that you can turn into messages. Also, actions speak louder than words. If your delivery is not congruent with your message, it’s not going to come across.”

Alex Phillips, president of Business Student Council, was largely in charge of organizing the event.

“This event is just one of the ways that different colleges are reaching out to help one another,” Phillips said. “This year the goal is to have more collaboration among the colleges. We’ve never done an event like this with different colleges before.”

Ryan Haughey, senior aerospace engineering major and president of SEC, said the idea for this collaboration between colleges has been in the works for a while.

“We were presented last year with this idea by Williams [an energy infrastructure company] saying that they were interested in hosting an event for our students,” Haughey said. “They have an active presence with both student councils and do a lot of recruiting from both colleges.”

The presentation gave students the opportunity to build their speaking confidence and competence about how to make an impactful and successful presentation. They also learned how to market themselves to potential employers for interviewing purposes.

“One of the key skills to being successful in the professional capacity is being able to communicate effectively,” Haughey said. “What students took from this presentation are the key skills and techniques to really have the confidence to tackle what is usually a big fear for a lot of people.”

This was the first event of its kind with business and engineering organizations working together to promote themselves and each other. Phillips said they are hoping to have many other similar events in the future.


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