What is guest speaking? Guest speaking is a structured Career Awareness activity in which students listen to a presentation to learn about the speaker’s career, business, or organization and industry. Then, students ask questions to help them consider whether they might like to pursue a career in the industry. As a guest speaker, you allow students to listen, receive information, and ask questions. You will also enable students to begin identifying areas of career interest and build knowledge about the education and training needed for a particular job, career path, followed by entry into the industry.
Who should speak? Just about anyone from your business would be a good guest speaker. It could be an owner, service manager, technician, parts counterperson, service writer, estimator, etc. The different roles allow students to see the multiple career opportunities in the service industry. Former students from the school who are now successful employees are especially impactful. Students can see themselves following in that person's footsteps.
What should you speak about?
The best speeches relate your personal experience. Here is an outline of a few talking points to get you started:
• Describe your career journey (your story!)
• Talk about obstacles you overcame
• Explain what you like best about your work and your business
• Discuss the need for perseverance, hard work, and getting along well with others.
• Manage expectations about the world of work
• Talk about the various job opportunities, pay range, and benefits for positions in the industry generally and in your company specifically
• Remember that not everyone may be interested in becoming a technician. Discuss the wide range of different jobs that a basic education in the fundamentals of automotive technology can open up
Focus your comments on a few key points (and you can collaborate beforehand on a few topics the instructor may suggest):
• Avoid job hopping
• Build your network (talk about how to do that)
• Be a life-long continuous learner and keep up with industry changes
When and where should you speak? There are multiple opportunities. Take advantage of as many as you can. Both current and prospective students need to hear from you and value your expertise.
• Career Day with general audiences, including students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators
• Anytime with prospective or current automotive training program students
• At School Board meetings when programs are threatened with cutbacks or closure. This can and does happen, and local employers speaking up is the best prevention
What is the time commitment?
Typically, 1 to 2 hours
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