I was serving as a judge at a pitch contest last night. Most of the “pitchers” were in their early twenties.
I don’t remember being that confident or articulate at that age. Certainly I would never have made a presentation to a bunch of strangers, let alone in front of my peers. Very impressive.
There were several lessons to be learned in how they did their presentations.
- Don’t assume that the judging panel know what you are talking about. Drop the jargon and give a simple explanation at the beginning, so you can bring the panel along with you.
- Do your homework. If you are going to present an innovative idea, do the costings and have the statistics to back your case.
- Use your power points as memory joggers instead of holding your notes and reading from them.
- While handing out a large portfolio of data shows you’ve done research, the presentation is what the judges will remember and their decision is made without reading through the documents. A one-pager would have been fine.
- Think through the different applications of what you are proposing. There is often more than one way to implement a new concept. Give options.
- Make sure that your slides are in print size easy for the judges to read.
- Work through the logistics of how your idea would work. Consider the work involved in tracking and implementing your plan and include that information in the presentation.
- Using humour warms up the audience.
All told an interesting evening. I learned a lot and I am all set now to impress my family with my new-found jargon and knowledge of all things technical.
My congratulations to all the students.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.