Hi everyone! This blog is going to be about my time at Bradenham, and will hopefully be useful for future interns when they first start at the firm!
So the main focus of Bradenham is to improve your presentation skills, setting you up well for the final presentation at the end of the internship. After arriving at the manor house and having some lunch, we jumped straight into some workshops. To begin with, we were tasked with creating an elevator pitch. This exercise really helped identify the key facts and strengths that you would want to tell someone if you had limited time, such as at a networking event or conference. Shortly following this, we had 30 seconds to deliver our pitches in front of our groups, with very little preparation time. Because of this, it gave some practice on off the top presenting, and allowed areas of strength and weakness to be identified.
Following a coffee and cake break, we next looked at presentation structures. A TED Talks video (https://www.ted.com/talks/nancy_duarte_the_secret_structure_of_great_talks) helped highlight a shared structure that all great speeches have shared, ranging from Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I have a dream speech’, to Steve Job’s iPhone release talk. Building upon the structure, many great speeches were shown to use humour to add effect, alongside asking the audience questions and interacting with them. Repetition of important themes and take home points throughout the talks can help emphasise key ideas, and speakers can connect with their audiences by making the talks personal. This session provided so many tips and pointers that you can use to help create your final presentation, or for presentations at university. We also started to look at the CROSSOFF methods that can be applied to presentations as well.
In the evening we had lots of free time after dinner to relax. On site there’s a pub that we all went to, where we watched the Argentina v Nigeria World Cup game, followed by Love Island. Next morning after breakfast, we started more workshops. In groups, we were tasked with presenting on different aspects of work that Grant Thornton are working on, such as how the firm is working to restore Trust and Integrity back into markets. This task was a challenge as we were only given 40 minutes to create a 10 minute presentation to deliver as a group. It really helped develop team working skills, especially given the time pressure. Additionally, it gave us a first chance to use some of the newly learnt presentation tips.
Finally, the last task was for everyone to create their own presentation on a chosen subject. This had to be 5 minutes long, and like before, we were given a limited amount of time to prepare it. This final presentation helped bring together everything we learnt during our time at Bradenham, from body language and presentation structure, to tonality and dealing with time pressure. Overall, my time at Bradenham was amazing, and it’s definitely something that you will be looking forward to when you start as an intern!
By Lucas Price – Audit Intern