The following was written by Danielle Storms, who presented on Twitter during the Social Media Boot Camp. This post originally appeared on Danielle’s blog here.
As a member of a professional business fraternity, I’ve attended many information sessions and professional development events. From the audience, it’s easy to critique the speaker. You judge his or her posture, intonation, volume, and above all, knowledge of the topic matter. As one of the final projects of my Social Media in Public Relations course, I was to be on the other side of an information session. My partner and I were going to present what we’ve learned about Twitter to representatives from student orgs, proving our expertise.
Despite months of learning from a social media pro and multiple internships focused around social media, I was nervous. I’m confident in my knowledge of the material, but I couldn’t help but imagine my audience as critical as myself. In only 15 minutes, how were Alyssa and I going to ensure every member of our audience left with a piece of valuable information?
The day of the event, Alyssa and I did an impromptu dry run; we nailed it. It became clear to me that I was more prepared than I initially thought, and that I had valuable tips to offer my peers. That night, I dressed my business-professional best and was ready to go.
We presented three times to roughly 45 students. The presentation went more smoothly with each round. Dismissing my fears, our audience was engaged and had few, but great, questions at the end. Each attendee completed a survey at the end of our presentation, and the numbers were impressive.
Alyssa and I predominately received 4 and 5’s out of 5. Our highest ratings came from students who believed their organizations utilized their Twitter adequately. The surveys showed that organizations competent with Twitter were still able to learn a lot from our presentation. The most difficult people to leave an impression on are those who are already sure of themselves, but we were successful in our attempt.
Social Media Boot Camp, presented by COMM 497C, was a learning experience for presenters and audience members alike. Students learned a lot about how their organizations can benefit from social media, while presenters reinforced their personal knowledge and skills. Despite my initial weariness, this event was one of my favorite assignments all year.