Giving Voice

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Inspiring the Future...

Earlier this month I travelled to Manchester to talk at the RCSLT student study day. In the weeks leading up to this I was involved in the Student Day Working Group helping to shape the programme for the day. As a final year student 5 years ago (I really don’t know where the time has gone?!) I found the RCSLT student study day extremely useful so I was very excited to have been asked to take part this year.

The study day took place at the Renaissance Hotel in Manchester and the delegates were seated in Cabaret style via a seating plan to allow opportunity to network across educational establishments. It was a lovely location and the hotel was decorated for Christmas which made me feel rather festive!

Christmas Decorations at the hotel
As well as being involved in the Working Group session near the beginning of the day, I also had a 7 minute slot to talk about ‘How I got there?’ with the theme of Education. I’d spent a long time planning this and thinking about what the students would find most useful, trying to put myself into their shoes as I thought back to my student days. I asked a few of my colleagues and a couple of final year students I know to make sure I captured the relevant information. I felt like 7 minutes was a long time until I began to plan it and realised how much I wanted to say!

I’d typed my speech out and practiced it a number of times and I had planned to read it to make sure I didn’t forget any of the important points. I was quite nervous before I began but I was keen to inspire the students so I stood with a smile on my face and began to talk. I soon stopped reading the speech from the paper and used it only as a guide to talk through my experiences and expand the points as I thought of additional information. The more I talked the less nervous I felt and I was surprised when I was given my 3 minute warning and hadn't got as far through as I thought I would have done. As well as talking about my journey into Education (and the variety of temporary jobs I had before securing a permanent post in Leeds) I also used it as an opportunity to talk about Giving Voice and Voice Box. This was a good link to my experience in Education as Voice Box has been a great opportunity to raise awareness of Speech, Language and Communication Needs in a fun way.

I feel like the students were interested in my experiences and I enjoyed sharing theses. I also had opportunity to talk to a number of students at the breaks (and lovely lunch!) and it was great to feel such a buzz of enthusiasm in the room.

I thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the student day and I think the students got a lot out of it. There was a good range of speakers and there were also career and research posters around the room with further information. The RCSLT website has the PowerPoints from the day as well as the research and career posters – check them out here. Please do get in touch with me if you would like to know more :)

As ever, being involved in an event where there are so many Speech and Language Therapists (and students) makes me proud of the profession I’ve chosen and excited for what the future may hold.

Wishing you all a very Peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

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