First Presentation | #5

Today I had my first presentation for my internship. I had to train a group of people how to use the Electronic Poll Book for the August Primary and make sure that they were all comfortable enough with the system to be able to use it themselves and solve problems with it. I was very nervous at first because I knew that I needed to present the information well enough for everyone to understand, and I had only learned about the system two months ago.

I came into work and everyone was very busy. We had to set up the computers and the programs to allow the people who were coming in to get to practice on the laptops. Before everyone started, I made sure to introduce myself and make sure that everyone was comfortable enough to ask questions. Throughout my presentation, I made a point to stop and ask if there were any questions and I tried to make sure that everyone understood what I was saying. I used as many examples and real-life scenarios as I could. As I was going through my slides, I did my best to sound confident and knowledgeable on the subject.

Once I had gotten through my powerpoint, I had to walk the group through a few training exercises. I had made each of them practice ballots and applications to vote so they could practice what they would actually be doing during election day. I tried to give them names that would cause problems with the system so they could learn how to fix the problem or avoid it. Most of the people caught on pretty well, and I did my best to help the ones that didn’t.

This presentation has given me a lot of experience in terms of working scenarios. In the future, I will have to speak in front of people and present more information and things of that nature. Doing my presentation in this internship was very good practice for the future because I had to prepare well enough to be knowledgeable on the subject and I had to ensure that everyone who attended the presentation was going to understand what I was saying.

One of the most important aspects of giving a presentation is the preparation. I had finished my powerpoint weeks in advance so I had time to get comfortable with the ideas and print out extra handouts, as well as prepare a training module for the trainees to follow. If I had not planned so far ahead or not met the deadlines that were set for me, I’m sure I would have felt extremely unprepared and the people I was training would have not understood the material as well.

I’m glad I had this opportunity to prepare and give my own presentation; it really gave me an idea of what I would be doing in future careers and it taught me independence and the importance of preparation.

One thought on “First Presentation | #5

  • July 29, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful posts, Sarah! My name is Jamie Monville and I’m a Mentorship Program Manager at the Hub. I’ll be following your blog posts this summer!

    As I get ready for Michigan Primary day (having sent in my absentee ballot and waiting for it to be returned – different county though!) I’m heartened to know that there are so many clerks out there just like you working to ensure that the process is smooth for everyone involved. It’s a huge task, but I can tell from your writing that you care deeply about it and that you’re doing an excellent job.

    I can totally relate to your experience gearing up to train the individuals who will work the precincts on primary day. My first full-time job after college was working for BlueCorps – a division of LSA that helped students, faculty, and staff use their technology. I was seen as an ‘expert’ in a variety of different software programs when I was called in to help and had to go through the same process of prep to make sure I was prepared to instruct confidently and competently. It’s a skill that I use to this day and I know it’s one that you’ll continue to use too!

    It’s clear that you’re gaining extremely important skills throughout this internship: Research, training development, public speaking, and due diligence just to name a few! I’m curious to know to know though how this experience is shaping (or not!) what you’d like to do next? Has this sparked an interest in local government? Or do you think you’ll take these valuable skills you’ve gained and apply them in a new environment?

    Can’t wait to hear more as we get closer and closer to August 7th!


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