Fine-Tuning Your Presentation

9 02 2010

The average human attention span tops out at around 5 minutes, 7 seconds. For some, the magic number can dip even lower. The fine art of making people listen will continue to become more and more difficult with the integration of social media and various technologies.

In order to create an atmosphere of focused attention, all presenters must do some self-discovery in order to succeed in making an impact.

The most important rule is to be who you are. This may seem cliché, but it can be the most important part of one’s presentation. Style and integrity are incredibly important in gaining both an audience’s attention and respect.

A stodgy presenter can impress his or her audience with technical knowledge and let the facts speak for themselves.

Being prepared is the essence of a successful presentation.

Creating a presentation that reflects this can push your presentation to the next level. Using a strong, decisive voice and creating a well-crafted visual presentation can take some attention away from the presenter him or herself and keep the focus on the intended topic.

A charismatic speaker can create worlds out of dull material. Using movement and flash helps to entertain your audience so they focused when the important details are revealed.

Trying to fake a personality will only lead to nervousness. If your audience has no confidence in your performance, faking a bright exterior only leads to a dull conclusion.

So stand with confidence and swagger; and remember, people are there to listen to what YOU have to say!

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Winner of the Elevator Pitch Announced

9 04 2009

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In just sixty seconds, each NVC venture team had the chance to captivate the attention of five judges.

That’s right, the NVC Elevator Pitch Competition just ended at the NVC. One team member from each team had the chance to explain the team’s venture and why investors should choose their team.

The pitch competition is based off the idea that if a venture capitalist were to meet an investor in an elevator, would he or she be able to use that one minute of face-time to secure an investment.

Apparently, the necoPlastics team from University of Louisville has the ability to do just that. The team’s elevator pitch included both the team’s business plan and why investors should be interested in necoPlastics. The team that includes, Whitney Austin, Stevel Flaherty, Nick Jacoby, Charles Price and Jason Wade, won $1,000 for winning this round of competition.

PassPro-tech, the runnerup from the University of Texas at Dallas, also excelled in the elevator pitch portion of the event with the team’s explanation of its one-of-a-kind technology that allows users an easy and safe way to access networks. Stephen Dunlap and Ben Morrow make up the PassPro-tech team.

Check back to the NVC Blog to follow the competition’s events as they happen. You can also follow the announcements on Twitter.





Presenting Yourself and Your Venture

2 04 2009

With the New Venture Championship fast approaching, many teams will be fine tuning their presentations. An effective and well-structured presentation can help a business venture appeal to judges, sponsors, and fellow participants.

Below are a few ideas and tips to keep in mind when fine-tuning your own presentation:

Tape Yourself
Taping a practice presentation of your team in action is a very simple way to note flaws. This can be done either with a video camera or an audio recorder. Be aware to watch for sections of your presentation that seem not to run smoothly. Sometimes asking others to watch is also helpful, as you know what you want to say and a fresh mind can notice different flaws.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Business competitions will often let participants examine the room that they will be pitching in prior to the presentation. Be sure to know the size of the room, where you will be standing, and how this will affect your presentation. This prevents you from being surprised, as you will be comfortable with your surroundings.

Don’t Memorize Your Speech
If you’re a part of a team accepted into a business plan competition, you’re expected to have your pitch down pat.

But don’t fall into the trap of memorizing it. Know your facts, know your story, know the logical flow of information, know the words you want to use but don’t memorize it. Give yourself some room for stage fright, unpredictable events, changing on the fly. The worst 10 seconds in any presentation is silence as someone struggles to find the next word in the memory link. Instead, knowing the ideas that you want to get across and letting the words flow is much more natural. Presenting your plan is crucial for the success of your presentation – act like its core to all you know. Last tip, write down the questions you think you will hear – but also write down the answers. Also write down the question you pray you will never be asked, you’re almost guaranteed it will be asked first. Make sure to have a great answer for that most difficult question.

Relax
Last, but not least, make sure to relax! Have fun! You have been working on this venture for months. Now, it is time to shine. Make sure to smile, make direct eye contact, and impress the judges! An effective speech is necessary as judges, and potential investors, will only be able to see you for a short amount of time.

Keep in mind these tips to improve your pitch before the judges even give their suggestions!