Fourth Year UBC Faculty of Management students will recall many of these points on “ice breaker” techniques to grab the attention of your audience. Use of any of these five suggestions may depend on your public speaking situation. Are you there to inform, inspire, entertain, or call the audience to action?…Is the situation solemn, serious, or relaxed? It can make a significant difference to the success of your speech.

At the request of Professor Ray Taheri of the UBC Engineering Faculty, I gave this guest lecture to all 4th year engineering students in ENGR 499 Capstone Project. From my background in entrepreneurial mentorship and entrepreneurial finance, I focused on the unique challenges engineers face in considering starting and developing a new venture. I discuss the full range of issues, but my personal emphasis, from experience, is the “character” issue. Some excellent engineers have successfully made the transition to entrepreneurship and executive management, but for others the odyssey is a bridge too far. Consequently, I place significant emphasis on honest self-analysis and appreciation of one’s strengths and weaknesses. Listening is a priceless skill.