Are presentation skills important for an Engineer?
Enkeleda Bocaj, the winner of the Area Final (Greece) competition of the IET Present Around The World, shares with us her experience.
It is widely known, how important it is to have enhanced presentation skills in our workplace. However, we don’t really understand that, until the time to make a presentation comes, especially if we have to make a technical presentation. Melissa Marshall shares some techniques about How to Captivate Your Audience With Your Technical Presentation which will help us next time we have to make a presentation.
IEEE Region 8 Today, spoke with Enkeleda Bocaj, an IEEE member since 2014, who is the former chair and current secretary of IEEE student branch of University of West Attica, and vice chair of IEEE Young Professional Greece, about representing Greece in the Region Final competition Present Around The World (PATW) by the IET. Enkeleda shares with us how being an IEEE member helped her enhance her presentation skills, but also tells us if it is important for an engineer to have enhanced presentation skills.
What is exactly the IET Present Around The World competition about?
Present Around The World (PATW) is IET’s presentation competition for students, recent graduates, apprentices and young professionals aged 18 to 30. Competitors are asked to give a presentation for 10 minutes on a subject related to engineering and technology, and to answer questions for an extra five minutes. The event is mainly to evaluate presentation skills although the topic should be appropriate to the intended audience of students and young professionals. The score based on 25% technical content and 75% presentation skills, enabling individuals at different levels of their studies or career to participate.
First place in the Area Final (Greece) competition of the IET Present Around The World! How do you feel about that?
It was a great experience and I am really glad that I overpass my hesitations and I participated. It’s always nice to have the hard work being paid off.
What made you decide to participate in a presentation skill competition?
The mentor and counsellor of IEEE student branch of UniWA, Prof. Charalampos Patrikakis, saw the competition and motivated me to participate. In the beginning, was hesitating but he encourages me to participate and that I had good chances to win. And so, I decided that I should try and that it will be a good opportunity to evaluate my presentation skills.
How did you felt representing Greece in a Regional Competition?
I was very proud to represented Greece in Astana, Kazakhstan and it was a great honour. I wanted to give my best, showing that we really work hard and have very good educational system which prepare us not only to be good professionals but individuals in general, capable to clearly express their ideals. These feelings were enhanced through, the support that I had from Prof Apostolos Kokkosis, Chairman IET Hellas Network, with his constructive comments advices about the finals.
Is it important for an Engineer to have enhanced presentation skills?
Personally, I believe is essential for engineers to have good presentation skills. It’s a very important gate of communication, can lead to stronger relationships with colleagues and professional contacts. Presenting your work and ideas in a sufficient and easy understandable way is huge deal. In general, engineers are usually good on talking more about technical details but in many case it is important to be able to abstract the ideas thus helping to disseminate their ideas to ordinary.
Being part of teams as an IEEE Student Branch, does it help to enhance soft skills such as the presentation skills?
It definitely, does. As a former chair and member of IEEE student branch of Piraeus University of Applied Sciences (now University of West Attica), I had the chance to present many times in front of large audience, this contributed to reduce the stress that most people use to have when presenting before and during the
presentation. They say that “practice makes perfect”. Moreover, through IEEE student branch I enhance the ability to interact amicably with others and feeling more confident while speaking in public or with people that I did not know, such as students from other Greek or international IEEE student branches.
Being an IEEE member, has it helped you being more confident during a presentation?
Being part of IEEE “family” I have access to many articles, one of them was the inspiration of my topic which was about “Digital Health Twin”. The large number of the articles that I can access and through them, gain knowledge about the topic, made me more confident during the presentation.
Enkeleda Bocaj was born on 1990 in Fier, Albania. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Automation from Piraeus University of Applied Science in 2016. Bocaj is currently an MSc student at the Department of Informatics of Athens University of Economics and Business and her research focuses on Data Science. She has worked as a data analysis developer and machine learning engineer at the Polytechnic Institution of Bragança and has participated in several research and development projects. Her research interests include data mining, machine learning, statistics and artificial intelligence. She is working as a researcher in CoNSeRT (Computer Networks & Services Research Team) at the Dept. of Electrical and Electronics Engineering of the University of West Attica. She has been IEEE member since 2014, is a former chair and current secretary of IEEE student branch of University of West Attica, and vice chair of IEEE Young Professional Greece.