Zhang Qun, China’s 2012 PATW winner, and runner up Zhao Yixin, share their experiences taking part in this presentation competition, highlighting how it has helped them improve their English speaking skills.
This year’s Present around the World (PATW) China final was jointly held by the IET and Beijing Jiaotong University. Under PATW rules, contestants are asked to give a ten minute presentation on an engineering or technology related subject and be prepared to answer a further five minutes of questions.
Zhang Qun is a graduate from the North China Electric Power University, an employee of the Shanghai Electric Group and now 2012’s PATW China winner. As a science student he majored in thermal energy and engineering and had a growing passion for learning the English language.
“For a long time, I have been seeking an opportunity to practice my presentation skills in English, for my dream is to become an international engineer. So it’s not hard to imagine the excitement I felt when I first discovered PATW, the perfect IET presentation contest for students and young engineers,” he says.
Zhao Yixin, a sophomore studying at the Beijing University of Post and Telecommunication, first found out about the IET when she began university. Her dream has always been to study towards a master’s degree abroad, so she joined the IET as she believes the organisation can help her with this goal. She became a member of her region’s Young Member Section (YMS) and this was how she found out about PATW.
“For myself, it a fantastic opportunity to take part in this, the China final. An IET global English speech contest has special significance for our engineering students, as we can demonstrate our mastery of professional knowledge and at the same time improve our English skills,” Yixin says.
“In this era of rapid social and technological advancement, it’s necessary for the young engineers to have those skills. It was undoubtedly an exercise in growth for me. I met a lot of wonderful students who are specialising in different areas. I’m very thankful the IET provided me with such a great opportunity and helped me widen my horizons, by allowing me to find out more about different areas of engineering,” she explains.
The contestants each choose their own topics and then take part in regional heats before reaching the China final.
“Considering current environment problems and my major, I chose CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) as my topic and started preparation. I have to say that speechwriting needs not only English writing skills but also knowledge integration of what you have learnt. Meanwhile, I paid attention to the expressions and examples of presentations to ensure that audience would have no difficulty understanding what I said,” says Qun.
“Here I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my friends and classmates for their help and support,” Qun continues. “I got a lot of advice when making the PowerPoint document and I was proud to have the most friends who cheered for me at the competition.”
PATW China was a wonderful experience for all the contestants, as they were able to practice their English presentation skills as well as getting to learn about technologies from different fields such as Cars for Blind, the iPhone’s Siri technology and GM Food.
“On behalf of all the Chinese contestants, I would like to thank the IET for providing such a fantastic platform where we feel free to communicate ideas and show our presentation skills,” says Qun. “I do believe more young students and engineers around the world will participate in PATW in order to develop an international outlook and with the support of IET, more young engineers can be expected to make striking progress in each field,” he concludes.