A leading educational service provider and coaching institute recently asked me to conduct a couple of presentations / sessions for engineering college students who are about to pass out and appear for placements and job interviews. I conducted a session on “Communication Skills” and another one on “General Awareness” in addition to the “Trends and Oppurtunities in the IT Industry.” I quite enjoyed taking the sessions.. especially the one on Communication Skills.
The reason I found it the most exciting was that there was NO syllabus and NO prescribed mode of conducting the class. – All I knew was that I had to hold the attention of a 100 twenty one-year olds and teach them how to “communicate” effectively! -On the way to the college (it was located on the outskirts of the city), I kept wondering WHAT I would do with the bunch! – The fact that it was a nice smooth drive (see Picture alongside) gave me the time and the atmosphere to think! 😉
In the end, I don’t think I fared too badly – I split them up into groups and got one of them to speak on a topic of their choice after the whole group discussed it. Each of the other groups had to ask questions and agree / disagree and these questions had to be answered by the remaining speakers of the group (apart from the one whom the group selected as their speaker).
At the end of the excercise, WE (as in the group of students AND myself!) discovered the following:
- 1. The best speaker is not necessarily the best thinker.
- 2. Good listeners can often be better communicators AFTER they have heard / analysed an argument.
- 3. A good communicator is not only one who speakes / listens, but one who can also evaluate an arguement in real-time while thinking or listening!
Pictures.. (Click to enlarge)
Here are some pictures of the college where I took these sessions – It’s a private engineering college called Academy Of Technology – located in Adisaptagram (near Bandel), – around 45 Kms from Kolkata.