How to Pitch a Great Proposal

by Alexandra Simone

Are you considering submitting a proposal to present at #EduWeb20 but you’re not sure what to include? Crafting a stand-out proposal might seem a bit daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! You have the knowledge. You have the expertise. You have the experience.

What exactly should you include? Below, our eduWeb Digital Summit Track Chairs weigh in on what they look for when reviewing proposals. Here’s their advice on how to pitch a great presentation for a higher education focused conference.

“I love seeing proposals that not only hit on topics relevant to higher education today, but promise to make attendees’ life easier. All of us face big challenges. Anything offering to solve those challenges has my attention.” – Brendan Foley, ‘Other Duties as Assigned’ Track Chair

“I’m looking for genuine experiences from my presenters. I want to hear about grand successes AND epic fails. Maybe you have introduced a small change that had a big impact on your organization. We relate most to real-world examples — these are the topics that stay with you when you’re back at your desk after the conference.” Conny Liegl, ‘Content and Email Marketing’ Track Chair

“When I’m looking at proposals, I’m looking for both general “how-tos” when it comes to pulling or sharing data, but I’m also looking for proposals that have a cohesive case study. These types of content will allow people to frame their experience as ‘this is what I can take back to my institution and use in the coming year.’ Specifically, for my track, the best strategies are informed by data and analytics — something that we all should have access to and touch on a monthly, if not weekly or daily basis. I’m hoping to put together a track that includes people from across the higher ed silos and help to break them down. I want to hear from data scientists, social media managers, enrollment marketers, web developers, and people from big schools and small schools. We all can add value to this field.” – Liz Harter, ‘Using Data and Analytics’ Track Chair

“Pitching a great presentation is a mindset. It’s less about the conference and more about your confidence, ability to communicate the organization of presentation, the value for attendees, and the topic. Be clever but not too clever, as you still want to be helpful and valuable. As much as I love the Fab 5, I may not want to see a higher education social media presentation that is all about lessons from the Fab 5 …or maybe I do. In all seriousness, do your research about the types of presentations from the conference in years past. Don’t overthink your presentation pitch. Write it. Sit with it for a day. Have a friend read it. Know that you have valuable information to impart and your unique experience to share. Every social media manager role is different; your passion and opinions are worth sharing. ” – Katy Spencer Johnson, ‘Social Media’ Track Chair

“The web continues to play a major role during the college search process for prospective students. I am looking for presentations that highlight strategies to improve user experience in a way that supports enrollment.” Kris Hardy, ‘Web/Mobile Design and Strategy’ Track Chair

For me, my best advice is to think about your audience, and what your goal is for them to leave with, no matter the size of their institution or the size of their marketing budget. Can your audience go back to work with an action plan or be a bit wiser? Focus on adding that and you’ll have a stellar proposal to present at eduWeb Digital Summit in August 2020.

Hope to see you there!

Alexandra Simone is the Social Media Manager for eduWeb and is the Social Media Strategist & Content Manager at Ramapo College of New Jersey. You can follow her at @reeltake on Twitter.