From viral commencement addresses to motivational TED Talks, we are enamoured by the power of a great speech.
Whether you’re an industry leader or a new kid on the block, public speaking can help you leverage your employer brand during campus recruitment season. Public speakers have a unique ability to influence their audience and convince them of the value in their argument. In a room full of potential Gen Y candidates, positioning your employer brand as the best career-hatching option for students or recent grads is a useful skill to have.
Being comfortable and confident in your speaking abilities can ensure students engage with what you have to say. Fortunately, public speaking is a learnable skill. Here are a few ideas to get started:
Convincing speakers are able to build audience trust by presenting themselves as an authentic source of information. If the audience believes you’re genuine, they’re more likely to see the significance in your points.
Since you’ll be speaking to a group of students interested in learning about your employer brand, start off with an anecdote about the things that attracted you to the organization. What were you looking for when you were a student or recent graduate? How did your employer brand align with your career aspirations at the time? The goal is to establish yourself as someone the audience can relate to: a good introduction can do that.
Tell a story
Storytelling is a powerful presentation style. It can captivate an audience, encourage them to emotionally connect to your content, and enhance the meaning of your core messaging.
If you need to communicate entry-level career paths to your audience, try telling a story about a Gen Y employee who successfully transitioned into a senior role after starting out as an intern. Presenting information in a character-driven way–much like a story–helps students understand how to position themselves when applying to your organization.
Know when to interact
Impressive speakers know how and when to engage their audience. They can read a crowd and quickly determine whether audience participation will add value to their presentation.
In a room full of Gen Y talent, you’ll have a mixed group: some audience members will be open to contributing and others will want to observe. Non-verbal participation is an easy way to engage both groups. Try posing a relevant, leading question to the room and ask for students to answer by raising their hands.
Sample: “By a show of hands, who has looked for work on a smartphone? At Company X , we recently launched our own careers app for students like you.”
Have go-to questions
Question and answer periods are a great way to address student inquiries and conclude your presentation. They can help to guide audience comprehension and lead them to a clearer understanding of your overall presentation.
Q&A’s are also the perfect excuse to include or elaborate on messaging you may have missed during your formal presentation. If you didn’t have enough time to focus on your organization’s community efforts, set yourself up to discuss the different charitable activities your employees participate in by posing a question on the subject to the room.
Sample: “Some of you may be wondering about what Company X does to give back. Let me share some of our proudest moments with you.”
Discussion: What do you do to prepare for public speaking engagements?