It’s an honor to be asked, but now what do you do? Giving a presentation for career day at your child’s school, no matter their age, can be a formidable task. All those smiling little faces staring up at you can be daunting, but sharing your experience and possibly inspiring a future generation is worth your time and effort. Share your experience in your field with confidence and you’ll make yourself, and your little one, proud.
If you focus on what you love about the job, your organic enthusiasm will shine through. Consider how your job fulfills you, what you gain from it on a daily basis, why you chose this particular field and what has surprised you after you entered the industry.
If you feel your daily grind can’t possibly pique the interest of children, consider discussing larger aspects of your job. If you're a delivery driver, discuss famous people who have used your services or products to get the children’s attention before diving into the day-to-day part of your position.
Children, preteens and teens are visual by nature, soaking in what they see before focusing on what's being said. Bring visual aids to support your presentation and grab their attention from the get-go. Keep the visual aids at eye level and discuss them throughout the presentation rather than all at once at the beginning or end to lend a bit of anticipation to your presentation. If the company you work for can help, ask if they'll offer enough swag, such as key chains, pencils, posters and other tchotchkes, to pass out at the end of your talk.
Once you have your topic and angles down, consider the age of the children as you prepare to put your presentation together. A good hook will work for any age, so try to think of a career highlight or an unusual event that you experienced at work. Once you have a hook, you need to tailor it to the age of the child. For instance, those in the medical field will probably have some good and gross experiences to share with little ones who are fascinated by yuck and icky. Older children, particularly high school age, need to know more about what it takes to learn and maintain the job, pay range and growth potential, so offer more details in those areas.
Dress for Success
If you wear a uniform to work, it’s ideal that you wear it to school with all of its accoutrements. If you have a hat, vest or pins that you don’t wear every day, now is the time to pull them out. If your job doesn’t require more than a clean T-shirt and pants, spruce up your attire to get their attention. On the other hand, if you get to work in pajamas from home, that can have an impact on your audience and cause them to sit up straighter and listen to learn more.