College Industry Day Talk


I got invited back to my old college to talk to students studying Games Development at an industry day, this talk was a few months after my first talk, so I was able to reflect upon my speaking and presentation from then.

Published on January 25, 2022 by Amy Elliott

Volunteering Presenting A Lecture/Talk

5 min READ

This is a legacy post, ported from my old portfolio. If you notice a mistake or a bug, please report it here.


When I just finished my GCSEs, I felt a little lost in where I wanted to go in life. I didn’t know what career path I wanted to go down, but I always found myself doing creative subjects! I loved art and video games, so I decided to go to college and do a Games Development course!

This course exposed me to lots of new tools and specialisms. We did 3D Art, 2D Art, and Programming!
Initially, when joining the course, I wanted to be a concept artist or an illustrator and design and draw stuff for games. This was because I was really inspired by video game art books! But once I began doing programming in the course, I fell in love with it! It was so much more creative than I initially thought! Unfortunately, there really weren’t too many people in the course who specialized in it. I could probably count on a single hand the number of students who did it, and I was the only girl!
A lot of the stuff I learned from the beginning was studying in my own time and making extra projects.

Every year, the course hosts an Industry Day where people working in the Games Industry come in and do presentations to give the students more of an insight into the industry. I loved these industry days, and I still talk to some of the people who did talks when I was a student there!

Two years after I graduated from my college, I got invited to do a talk at the industry day – and this was exciting!


Event: Northbrook College Games Industry Day
Date of Event: January 2022


Finding a Subject to Talk About

It wasn’t too hard to come up with a subject to talk about as I wanted to do something which would be beneficial for the students. I thought back to what I would’ve loved to know and hear about when I was a student.

There are so many things which I wish I knew back when I was in college, so I wrote these things down into a list and decided to talk about them!

The presentation was titled: “10 Ways to Prepare Yourself for the Games Industry”

Another reason why I thought this was a good subject to do a presentation on is that it would allow me to be more interactive with the audience, which is something that I wasn’t able to do, but wished that I did do during my previous presentation at my old high school – You can read about that here.


Delivering The Subject

There were many more students in the audience here than at my previous talk, a rough estimate would be around 50 or so students.

As I wanted to engage the audience, and include more interactivity and questions, before I handed out any resources or started the presentation, I asked the students about the subject of the presentation!

I asked them what they think are good ways to prepare themselves for the games industry! The answers were great! I got half a dozen hands and some of them were things I mentioned in the presentation, and some of them were new things that weren’t mentioned! And instead of the students just mentioning what they thought was good, I asked them why they thought it was good.

Before the presentation, I had prepared a document on the subject which I was presenting for every student. This went into the 10 tips in more detail! And so, I handed these documents out to the students.

When presenting, I made sure I wasn’t rushing, and I was taking my time talking, as well as asking questions to the students throughout the presentation, and answering questions.

I had no script. I’ve not tried talking at a presentation with a script, so perhaps that’s something that would be good to try for my next presentations, but I felt a lot more comfortable delivering the talk without a script, using the presentation bullet points as a guide.

Something I did notice throughout the talk was I’m not used to projecting my voice to a large audience, so this is something I would like to do research on! I’m sure something like this comes with practice though.


Conclusion

Like mentioned before, when I was in college the course was very male-dominated, and the only programmers in the class who I could see around me were male! But when going back to the college to do my talk, there was a lot more diversity in the new year groups! As well as more programmers on the course! This made me so happy!
I believe it would be so beneficial for young girls who are thinking about getting into the Games Industry to see more females in tech-related roles! So, I really hope that the presentation which I had done helped make more young people realize and feel like they can get into the gaming industry, particularly into programming, no matter what they identify as!

Upon doing a second talk, I didn’t feel as nervous as before! Of course, for the first few seconds of the presentation, I was a little nervous, but once I got going it wasn’t that bad!

I still feel like I could improve my talking/presentation skills further, and I can do this by keep practicing interactivity within talks, not talking fast, as well as projecting my voice!