Practice makes perfect… with a bit of feedback

We had taken on board the feedback from the practice pitch and had included the financial statements into our pitch and slides. After practicing a few more times before the final pitch we fine tuned our individual bits so that we were more engaging and even more to the point then before as we had to leave ample of time to explain the financials unlike before.

Although we were all a little nervous we believed in our idea and we were confident about the pitch

It was time to shine baby!

We entered.
We shook hands.
We pitched.
We answered their questions.
We thanked them.
We left.

We left feeling pretty good to be honest, it was a mixture of “yay it went well” and “thank God it’s over”.

The Dragons decided which teams were nominated to win £3000. The selected teams would have to do a 2 minute pitch in front of everyone without any slides. But were we one of them?

The answer is yes! They called out Hold-All! Although I had a good feeling about our pitch I didn’t think we’d get chosen as there was quite a bit of competition that evening. However, we did get through so that the judges definitely saw something.

confident-speakerWe were given a few minutes to practice or come up with a 2 minute pitch….for us it was coming up with a pitch! We decided on what we should eliminate rather than what we should say which seemed to work. We got up to pitch and I was nervous, I’m usually good with presenting but the idea of winning the money got the better of me…luckily just for a for a few seconds. All of us were nervous and we were unprepared like some of the other groups. I think this quote sums up well as to how I was feeling during that time period:

“But it’s not because we’re afraid to fail. It’s because we’re afraid that we’ll succeed. That is what truly terrifies us.”
– Peter Coughter, The Art of the Pitch: Persuasion and Presentation Skills that Win Business

But we had pitched and it was over. I didn’t think we’d win the money but not because we weren’t prepared but more so because some of the other teams had really good ideas!
To find out if we won the money you’ll have to follow this blog :)

(Cheeky, I know)

One of the main lessons I learnt in the run up to the pitches is to know how important having confidence in your idea is. Believing and having confidence about our business plan is what the judges see before they even see your plan, its equally important if not more. We realised how important it was especially when we were questioned by the ‘Dragons’. They ask questions not only to find out more but to see if you know more too! If you respond back appropriately, they will see the confidence.

I found this interesting piece ‘How to be a smooth presenter, for those who are nervous’ which I think is worth reading before any presentation. I think we checked most of the things on the list except for resting well before the presentation. Unfortunately, I had a lot assignments due in that week so I had to burn the midnight oil.

YawnSomething to remember, looking tired is one thing but feeling tired is whole ‘nother level. You need to stay alert and be fresh on the day of your presentation. No one likes to listen to a presenter who is half asleep and tired. The enthusiasm might be there but if it doesn’t show your audience be it dragons or colleagues then no body will interested in even the best of ideas.

And lastly, don’t yawn! Your body language is everything and if you yawn especially when the dragon is speaking, that might just cost you.

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