Communicating a clear professional brand with an audience requires a lot of research, thought, and planning. Most people spend too little time in the essential preparation stage or even skip preparation completely.
The most important way to make your professional brand stand out from the competition and to ensure your presentation will resonate with an audience is to engage in thoughtful, meaningful preparation.
The Professional Brand Presentation will be submitted in three pieces over the next three modules. A presentation’s outline forms the core of the message. This week, you will focus on developing a strong outline.
Before beginning your outline, it is important to have completed your Module 4 Readings, Videos, and Lessons as well as the Module 4 – Overview of this assignment. Additionally, pull up a copy of your Module 4 – Discussion: Communicating Your Body of Work. You shared three major accomplishments and what you felt those experiences had in common. We will use this as the starting point for building our Professional Brand Presentation outline.
Part One: Understanding Your Brand
Your professional brand should clearly communicate who you are, what you do, why you do it, and what makes you unique. In order to prepare a presentation that effectively communicates those key elements in an engaging way, address all of the prompts and questions below. Providing as much detail in the form of examples, facts, stories, and experiences from your professional career and your personal life can help you best understand and articulate your brand.
Start with why. Why do you do what you do? What motivates you? Why do you want to wake up and go to work at a particular job? For example, do you want to help others? Are you motivated by creativity? Do you want to earn respect and prestige? What problems do you want to solve? Use your Module 4 – Discussion: Communicating Your Body of Work. You shared three major accomplishments and what you felt those experiences had in common. Does this communicate why you do what you do?
Summarize your core “why” in a few sentences. This is your professional brand statement.
Support and evidence. Now that you’ve figured out your core “why,” you must provide support and evidence for your professional brand statement. You must also figure out how to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Answer the following questions:
Define your professional goals. Where do you see yourself professionally in the long-term (10 years from now)? Where do you see yourself in the short-term (next year)? Be sure to include not just the career you want to hold but also detailed information about that career. What is the company like? What is your position like? What are your co-workers or clients like? What is your life like as you work to accomplish your professional goals?
Define your strengths and skills. To achieve your professional goals, you must identify the strengths you possess and the skills you need to continue to build. List your strengths, the skills you’ve developed, and the important adjectives that describe you and your work ethic. Next, define some skills you need to continue to work on in order to achieve career success.
Analyze your target audience. Who do you need to share your professional brand with in order to achieve your professional goals? Is it a specific company? If you want to be your own boss, do you need to share your brand with prospective clients and customers? Conduct a bit of research on what your target audience looks like. What does your target audience need from you?
Analyze your competition. With over 7 billion people in the world, you’re bound to face competition as you work to accomplish your professional goals. What is it that you offer that other people cannot? Conduct a bit of research on your competition. What unique blend of character traits, goals, strengths, skills, and experiences do you possess? How do you stand out from the competition?
You will use the answers to all of these questions to build your Professional Brand Presentation Outline.
Part Two: Communicating Your Brand
Once you’ve developed a clear understanding of your professional brand, it’s time to create a plan to share that brand with a target audience.
Your Professional Brand Presentation outline should include the following key components:
Attention-getter or hook
Professional Brand Statement
How you stand out from the competition
Strengths and skills
Examples, stories, and support for your brand
Clincher or final thought
Be sure to clearly label all of the pieces of your outline.
Remember that for this assignment, you will submit both Part One and Part Two.
To submit, use a standard file type (DOC or DOCX) and name the file your surname, module number, and title of the assignment (e.g., surname_M4_ProfessionalBrandPresentationOutline).
In any successful career marketing campaign, you must be able to effectively communicate your professional brand. You will communicate this brand through the traditional cover letter, paper resume, and interview; however, the 21st century world of work also provides new and exciting ways to communicate who you are. Just as successful companies know the importance of establishing and communicating their brand to the public, it is also important for you to practice marketing yourself as a brand.
To do this, you must first develop background information on your total self as a worker and as a person. By correlating all of your major life events (elected to student council, mowed lawns, organized school fundraiser benefiting Muscular Dystrophy, etc.) with experiences volunteering and working jobs in specific industries, you can uncover the overarching marketable, transferable qualities about you. Pamela Slim calls this your “body of work.” Slim says your “body of work is everything you create, contribute, affect, and impact” (Slim, 2013, p. 7). Understanding and effectively communicating your body of work as your professional brand gives you a competitive edge in the marketplace.
For the Module 4 Discussion, you will record a video presentation communicating your body of work. Briefly describe three major life achievements of yours that come to mind. These accomplishments could be in your personal or professional life. Examples might include:
Suggesting a change on a job that saved an employer money or improved efficiency and service.
Earning a promotion or award for excellent performance on the job.
Achieving a perfect attendance record at work or school.
Being a member of a winning team in sports, academics or work.
Maintaining a high G.P.A. in your studies, perhaps with honors.
Taking the initiative to resolve a problem situation, help another person.
It is important that you take your time and claim three of your best experiences. Do not rush the process. As a suggestion, avoid sitting down and grinding out the information in one setting. Better to start the list with a single item, put the project aside for a bit, and add to the information as other events come to mind. You want these three achievements to reflect you as both a worker and as an individual.
Next, explain what these three experiences have in common. Perhaps all three experiences highlight your values and beliefs. Maybe these three examples depict a unique skillset your possess or a set of strengths that come naturally to you. The three experiences might explain your preferred work mode (for example, your entrepreneurial spirit or your focus on nonprofit giving and charity). Spend a great deal of time thinking about the thread that ties these three stories together.
Record a video presentation briefly describing the three major life experiences as well as the link that explains what these three events have in common. Please consider timing and keep your presentation between 4-6 minutes. Additionally, when filming this presentation, consider your professional execution including your lighting, camera placement, background, and attire.