The honor of speaking at career day often turns to panic as you consider what to say. Your captive audience of students awaits your expert insight into your field. Tailoring your presentation to the grade level is key to connecting with the kids and representing your field well.
A career day speaking engagement requires prep time. Know what you want to say and make notes. For elementary students, explain your job simply with specific examples. Photos and actual objects, such as a product your company makes or a tool you use on the job, gives students a concrete look at what you do. Check in with the teacher before the presentation to determine time limitations and expectations. Request any necessary equipment, such as a computer connected to a projector.
Dress in the same clothes you wear to work. Gather all props and arrive at school early. You'll likely need to check in with the office staff and possibly supply your ID depending on security protocols. If you're nervous, don't show it. Smile and show off your personality. Be prepared for interruptions. Students -- especially in elementary grades -- often can't wait to ask questions or share experiences. Share your typical job duties and some background about your experience and education. A veterinarian might discuss giving healthy animals checkups and helping sick animals get well with medication. She might discuss how long it took to graduate college and the internship she did. A postal employee might explain the mail-sorting process and the test required to work for the postal service.
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