Hind Malik | Staff Writer

Career Advice

Thinking Ahead: Oral Communication Skills

Here is an honest advice from a long time college student who will soon graduate to the real world where enduring the pain of oral presentations and group work is no longer an option but a necessity and a skill that most often holds the key to one’s future success within any professional organization. So here is my advice: THINK AHEAD. Use your time wisely and take advantage of all the resources available to you here at NC State. One crucial career-oriented service that universities provide through their classroom is Oral Presentations.

As a freshman, oral presentations were a nightmare. Not that I had fear of public speaking but the assignment itself, like other assignments, made no sense and was simply an extra burden placed on me by professors, who at the time appeared to me as nothing but a bunch of masochists who gained pleasure by tormenting me with tedious assignments that confined me to library for hours, thereby destroying my social life in the process. But the truth is, Oral Presentation skills is the most critical skill that any student can acquire. It is essential not only in your educational and professional career but also in your social life.

How does an Oral Presentation directly affect your career?

In my recent job search, strong verbal communication skills appeared to be one of the top requirements in most job listings along with the ability to work effectively as part of a team. Here is why: Communication is an integral part of human existence. In order to survive and advance, we must communicate with one another in order to collaborate, exchange ideas, and solve problems. Therefore, the success of any organization or company depends on how well its employees communicate effectively within the organization and with the rest of the outside world. This is why as a future job candidate; you must be an effective oral communicator who can effortlessly and precisely convey his or her message in a professional setting like at a job interview.

How to use Oral Presentation assignments as a career building block:

Look beyond the Grade Point Average goal and take your oral presentation assignments as an opportunity to practice and strengthen your communication skills

Take your time and do your research for the assignment

Practice makes perfect so practice your presentation beforehand

Dress professionally to your class Oral Presentation even when others don’t. This have always worked for me because one, it instantly boosts your confidence and second, you will be required to dress professionally in the future so why not start now.

Ask for feedback from professors even if it is not necessarily a communication class.

There you have it; my piece of advice. And remember, college is a training ground for the real world. Grades are only a way to measure performance but it shouldn’t be the main goal. Make sure when graduation day rolls around that you are equipped with what really matters. Even though you might forget the topic you presented in your English class