As my first course in the Master of Entrepreneurship program at Western Carolina University, I didn’t quite know what the materials and assignments would include. Because of my previous education in the undergraduate Entrepreneurship program, however, I predicted the graduate program would be challenging and rewarding – and I was correct. My participation in the Entrepreneurial Marketing class this Summer exposed me to subjects that made me want to dive even deeper into the world of marketing, a passion that has grown through the last eight weeks of enrollment. Yet even though I enjoyed all of the assignments expected in the course, along with the ample room for creativity within each one, there was one assignment that stood out as the most exciting of them all: the professional presentation.
Although daunting at first, the idea of planning, organizing, and executing my own presentation was fun to me. The possibilities seemed endless, so I knew that I would need to quickly narrow down my list of possible subjects and venues. Since the course instructors allowed plenty of room for creativity in this assignment, I thought of the things that I was knowledgeable about. Guitar, fitness, and design immediately came to mind, yet giving a presentation about these subjects just didn’t feel right. As I thought some more, I realized that the topic to my presentation was lying on the table in front of me! Likable Social Media by Dave Kerpen, and Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch, the books assigned by my instructors as reading material. I had enjoyed reading these books so much throughout the course, and felt as if the information inside of them was simply brilliant. As a result, I chose to create my presentation based off of some of the ideas inside these books.
“10 Social Network Marketing Tips” was the name I decided to use for my presentation, as it describes exactly what will be contained within the presentation. After deciding on my name and topic, next on my to-do list was to find a place to conduct the presentation. Remembering that Western Carolina University has a second campus for graduate students located in Asheville, I gave the school a phone call to ask about the availability of rooms. Suzan Melvin helped me in the reservation process, and by the end of a single phone call, I had reserved a room.
Next, I planned and designed a promotional poster for my event that I would use to get the word out around the Biltmore Park area (where the event would take place). Since I always enjoy designing things in Photoshop, this part of the experience was particularly fun to me. Yet even more fun than designing the poster was, surprisingly, going around town to hang them up at local businesses. The people that I met along the way were absolutely fascinating. I ran into several waitresses who were going to Western Carolina University, and even the President of Neo Burrito! Blanketing the area in posters was ultimately a great experience as it forced me to talk to the employees and management teams of the businesses in order to ask for permission to post my poster. Oh, and Barnes & Noble even donated a book to my cause to be given away – you can never be sure what to expect sometimes, but my expectations were blown away on that day.
Developing the actual presentation was exciting as well. As I skimmed back over the material in the two books I would use as sources, all of the great marketing ideas came back to life in my mind. After drawing up a list of the ten most helpful tips (in my opinion, at least), I went to work elaborating on each of them and then subsequently crafting a PowerPoint presentation to match. While developing the project, I made it a point to match all of my materials together by using the same colors, fonts, and style of speech. For this reason, the fonts and colors in my poster are the same as my presentation. Another interesting touch is the fact that the font I used is the actual font used in the Facebook logo. I thought this would be a great way of adding a bit of familiarity to the project, and a good way to get people to associate my presentation with the very website it talks about.
In the end, I had a blast planning, developing, and presenting this assignment. Each of the materials can be found on this blog via the links at the bottom of this article. A few photos of my presentation are also below! Thank you for reading about my experience with this assignment.