I must say that I kind of like the idea of lecturing, it is similar to acting but with the added benefit that the group of people who you are talking to, are not allowed to leave if they don't like your performance! Even though I give the students a hard time and I am super-strict on attendance and timekeeping (last year I made one of the students cry because I asked her to leave when she arrived 5 minutes late - just do that once and then everyone's on time) we do have a lot of fun.
When I first started lecturing I was concerned that I was not up-to-date on technology so I dived into learning all about social media and gadgets that the "youngsters" would be into. But I have quickly realized that they have little to no knowledge about any of these subjects. I like to give loads of examples to explain the concepts and the student need to relate. Just this week however an example got me into a bit of hot water......
In marketing it is beneficial to your product if it has trialability. This means that the consumer can try out the product, like a sample shampoo sachet in a magazine or a pack of tissues handed out at the robot. But the example I chose was an iPhone (to keep current). I happily explained that "Even with cell phones, you can test them out before you buy them. Just go into any iStore and ask the computer geek behind the counter to whip his out and show it to you........" now even though I knew that sounded bad, my sleep-deprived brain did not totally comprehend what I had just said so I finished with, "...and he'll let you play with it for a while." There was a few seconds of deathly silence and then the class exploded into laughter. Needless to say I looked like I belonged to the beetroot family and am waiting for some new-age parent to come with a sexual harassment charge! But I think everyone is going to remember trialability.
This week has been particularly entertaining. As I was warming up to start the lecture after the break, I was chatting to one of the students and sarcastically asked "tell me something I don't know" and she responded with "Hitler only had one testicle!" okeedokey, thanks for that!
Then I was giving an example of cell phone networks in my business lecture, explaining that there are new entrants into the market e.g. Virgin Mobile. Virgin has been in the market for a while now so what have they become? A little dude from the back shouts out "Whores!" *deathly silence* "Do you get it Ma'm? They started out as virgins and they......" YES. Thank you. I got it.
Then a student asks me a question "What is the difference between a private company and a public company?" So I diligently explain it like this, verbatim - "One difference is that a private company does not need to make their financials, wait for it......public like a public company does. A private company can keep theirs....... wait for it......yes I am doing your studying for you .... private." I thought that was perfectly executed and an easy way to remember the difference but nooo, what does the student respond? "So M'am you're saying that a good way of remembering that is that I keep my privates private?" Yes Einstein that's EXACTLY what I said! Hoo boy!
Lastly, I was handing out the assignment to the marketing students. This is their 8th lecture of the year and I thought this assignment would be quite fun. They have to get into groups, choose a brand and decide which consumers to target with the brand and how they would reach them e.g. TV, magazines etc. So I read through the 2 page document explaining target markets and different media that they could use, I basically went through 4 examples - Coke, Smarties, Nandos and Nike, spoon-feeding them the answers that they need to give me back to get 100% for this super-easy task. After about 10 minutes of explaining I finish off by asking if there are any questions. And the question is................ "What is a brand?"
Ah yes, the molding of young minds. Only problem is, nobody told me that some of these young minds are about as pliable as play dough that's been left in the sun for 3 days!!
Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it!!