I am presenting this year at the American Marketing Association conference. And I couldn’t be more excited! (Here’s my session information).
However, as a real honesty moment, speaking at this conference has been a goal of mine for years. I’ve been attending for four years. My very first conference was game-changing. The people were so smart. So talented. I wanted to be more like them. After the first conference, I started working on my AMA certification to better understand the marketing world.
That first conference showed me I wanted to speak at this conference one day. To help me work toward that, I have moderated roundtables before submitted session proposals and tried to get to know more people who attend this conference.
Why This Matters
As I’ve reflected on the goal of presenting at this conference, it helped me recognize there are some life lessons that can be applied. I’m trying to recognized the importance of them and wanted to share if they can be helpful to you.
Keep Working At It – I share the back story to help professionals who sometimes just see the finalized polished presentations. It took several years for me to achieve this goal. Multiple proposals were declined before I had one that was accepted. That’s how life works sometimes, and I think that perspective sometimes gets forgotten when all we see is the end product. If you’re wanting more and it’s not happening (presentation submission or a life challenge), keep working at it. Don’t let one “no thank you” be what ends the discussion for you.
Find Your Voice – I had been in doctoral world for the last four years. I was reading everything I was told to read. I didn’t watch tv, read fun books, or do much that wasn’t related to school or work. After I finished in February, I had the famous “now what” moment. It was there that I really found my voice of wanting to talk about marketing & enrollment challenges, strategies for collaboration, and leadership. That focus on where I could add expertise helped me to define my own emphasis areas. And then really lean into sharing about those. I encourage you to do the same. Find the topics or areas you’re passionate about and spend your time there. Narrowing down to 2-3 topics will help you find your voice and tell a meaningful story.
Make the Most of Opportunities – When I finally got the yes, I labored over these slides, practiced my presentation several times (about to do so again), and have tried really hard to turn things in on time. I had the opportunity finally to present, and I wanted to put my best foot forward. Even if the opportunity you have is not quite the one you wanted, this advice can never go wrong. Nothing bad happens from being prepared and being poised. It can always lead to another opportunity, so when you’re doing things, do your best. You never know the dividends that extra bit of effort can pay.
Great question. If you’re in DC for the conference, please stop and say hi! I want to meet as many people as I can and continue getting to know members of this amazing community.
After that, I think it will be time to set a new goal. However, I can tell you — I definitely want to stay involved. I’ve learned so much from this community. I hope this is only the beginning.