Our last InterTEDx talk of the semester was given by Director of Marketing, Brandon Muschlitz. Brandon is a junior studying Business Marketing with a minor in Design. He originally joined TEDxOhioStateU during his sophomore year as a member of the Logistics Committee.

How did you chose the topic of your interTEDx talk?

I wanted to find a way to combine three areas that I am passionate about: Leadership, Personal Growth, and Design. One aspect that ties in all of these areas is through personal branding. Personal branding is the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the the minds of others about yourself. Most often, we think of personal branding as through social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn or how we portray ourselves on a resume. There is so much more to personal branding though. Factors in your personality drive how you are motivated or how you perceive success and failure. Each and every one of us is fueled by our moral compass or by our values, and we are shaped by our strengths and weaknesses. By truly being self-aware and understanding those internal factors, we can better communicate who we are to others.

How did you present your ideas as a talk?

I started by talking about the popular and well-researched field of advertising. Advertising plays a very important role in our life whether we want it to or not. Many advertisements provide us with first impressions into a certain product or company, and those first impressions shape how we feel about those things. As I introduced personal branding, I noted that we give hundreds of first impressions on a daily basis. People judge you constantly on how you look, how you act, and what mannerisms you have. With the rise of social media, people now judge you based on what you post, or how active you are on social media sites. Personal branding is all about those first impressions, but it also goes much deeper than that. Your actions are derived from your motivations and your morals and values. The one way to understand your morals and values is by taking personality assessments which give you a glimpse on how you act in relation to others. By harnessing those strengths and weaknesses and becoming more self-aware in the process, you can then use that as a guide for how you act in your everyday life. While the thought of personal branding and the influence of first impressions is intimidating, by staying true to yourself you will portray your best personal brand.

What inspires you?

We are the most connected generation ever. Through globalization and social media, we directly and indirectly come in contact with people from all over the world. This is an incredibly powerful idea. With such connectedness we have access to more resources and more opportunities for self improvement. I am inspired by the innovators and the leaders that are out there. They take their passions and act on them. Not only are they just helping their homes and communities, but they are having a global impact by setting an example. The lessons they have to share are so important for the rest of us to learn.