Talking to Kids
I was recently given the opportunity to talk to a group of up-and-coming engineers. They were doing a week long residential course (so they were evidently keen) on the nuclear industry, run by Smallpeice. The main aim of the course was to design and build centrifuges out of some pretty basic materials, this work was broken up by talks by people in the industry. They had already had talks from physicists and university lecturers so Tom (newest member of cohort 4) and I were representing engineers. The brief for the talk was fairly vague, my background, so I wasn’t sure what to do. Having sat through too many “death by powerpoint” presentations I really wanted to do something a bit more interesting. The most interesting talk I have attended was by Captain Eric Brown, a WWII fighter pilot and post-war test pilot who has flown a wider variety of aeroplanes than anyone else in history (487). His talk was a slideshow of pictures in his archive, each one prompting a memory, i thought I’d try something similar something similar. I don’t yet trust myself to speak off-the-cuff so I wrote a brief script going backwards from my current role in Sellafield Ltd, through my university education, to my extracurricular projects. I then picked about 40 pictures to illustrate the script and numbered them in the order required. The talk went really well, and I think I managed to keep the majority entertained, I even got a few questions. The best thing was someone came up to me at the end to say how interesting he found it, which was nice. I think this proves the point that if you try to do something a bit different you are more likely to be successful. Powerpoint has had a pretty rotten affect on peoples presentation skills which is why a lot of job interviews/assessment centres aim to test presentation skills without using powerpoint.