Week 2

CAPS265 Career Development III Capstone

Informal Is still important:

In any profession, informal presentation skills are a valuable part of your professional repertoire. This week, you will examine how informal presentation skills can improve your chances of success in the workplace and how important it is to take advantage of any and all networking opportunities.

For example, you may run into clients or colleagues at coffee shops, stores, or other venues, as well as in professional settings such as conferences, meetings, and work events. Remembering names, asking about life events, and mentioning something positive about work or working together is a great way to plant seeds for connections that may turn into career development opportunities such as recruitment or promotion.

Informal, even spontaneous, presentations should be considered an important professional skill to practice and perfect. Consider a situation in which you are asked to present notes to colleagues from a training event you attended. How would you communicate the information in an engaging and professional manner? How will you know if the audience is bored? You should be able to answer these questions and more when you complete this week's activities (Santamaria, 2011).

Informal presentations can happen at almost any time and in any environment, so you should be working to develop a professional approach and approachable demeanor that you can slip into at a moment's notice. For example, another form of informal "presentation" might be a co-worker simply asking your opinion on a subject. You might be friendly with this person, but the setting is everything! Remember to keep your statements professional and appropriate whenever you are with colleagues and clients.

Perhaps you are working on a flyer to advertise an event. A person in your department created the flyer, and you are helping with final changes. Another co-worker asks you when and how the flyer will be delivered. You think the delivery method is slow, but it's not your call to make. It is important here to be perceptive enough to provide an opinion without offending the original author of the flyer. Honesty is the best approach, but leaving an opening for further collaboration is important. How might you answer the question of when and how the flyer will be delivered? Is your opinion about the delivery method relevant? In other words, can that delivery method be changed at this point, and is it part of your role to get involved? Diplomacy and professionalism are important in all manner of daily informal presentations, from running a meeting, to communicating with clients and colleagues online and in person, to running into a co-worker at a restaurant.

Weekly Skills Talk: Relation learning

Applying what you learn to different situations is the ultimate goal of education. To be successful in your profession, you will need to use relational learning. Relational learning is the process by which you take what you have learned in one situation and apply it to a different situation. What works in one situation may work in another. The only way to know is to try it out. In this discussion, you will identify an example of something you've learned in the workplace or at school and how you were able to relate this lesson to another situation.

For example, if you learn to communicate by active listening at school and then practice this skill by being an active listener with your friends, you are demonstrating relational learning. This also applies to the workplace: When a supervisor provides feedback, the expectation is that you will apply that feedback to all your work going forward, so relational learning is an important skill to acquire early in your career.

Think back to the best learning experience you've had in school. What made it memorable? Did you apply the lesson to another part of your life? If not, how was it the best learning experience you've had? Now, think about the work you are currently doing. Where did you learn that skill or approach? Most things are learned somewhere; connecting the past lesson with your current approach will help you continue developing relational learning throughout your career.