A few weeks ago, the Hispanic Latino Student Union (HLSU) at Florida State requested a member of the university’s Center for Hispanic Marketing to speak at one of their events. I was very flattered when the Center asked me if I could do it, and I was so excited for my first ever speaking engagement that I wanted to start working on my presentation immediately. But the speech teacher side of my brain told me to hold my horses. The email requesting a speaker was very general, and I knew I needed more information so I could put together the best possible presentation for my audience. Particularly:
What exactly is the audience expecting to hear about? The email simply said Hispanic marketing, but I could have taken the topic in many different directions. With more clarification, I found out that HLSU was interested in why Hispanic marketing is relevant given the large Hispanic population in the US, and that they wanted to hear about acculturation, which is the process of learning a new culture.
What’s should be the format of the presentation? HLSU wanted me to give a 15-minute presentation, so I opted to start out by explaining what the Center for Hispanic Marketing does and how I got involved in it, and then to cover three basic aspects of Hispanic marketing that related to their interests.
I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts on Hispanics marketing. First, I spoke about why we need to create marketing campaigns that target Hispanics in the United States. We can’t just use the same marketing as in Latin America since Hispanics in the United States have different needs and experiences. Then, I talked about the large amount of Hispanics in the United States and how we need segmentation and research to create marketing messages that resonate. This is where I mentioned acculturation, since one way to segment Hispanics is by level of acculturation. Finally, I left them with the thought that anyone can become a good Hispanic marketer regardless of cultural background since marketing isn’t about innately knowing a lot of facts about your audience, but about taking the time to research and find out what is meaningful to the audience.
Delivering the speech at the event was more nerve-wracking than practicing in my empty living room, but I felt it went well since at the end I got a lot of questions about my involvement in Hispanic marketing and about the classes I teach. Hopefully I will get the chance for more speaking engagements over the course of my career!