Startup competition · Presentation tips

Any tips for 3 min presentation in a competition with no props/slides?

Candice Hughes, PhD, MBA

October 8th, 2013

 My company was chosen as "2013 Tech Company to Watch". All selected compete with votes being both by investor judges and general audience vote.

Andrew Tischler

October 8th, 2013

Be very clear and upfront.  Tell the audience:

- what the opportunity you are building and what problem it solves / how it makes the user;s life better
- describe the problem/opportunity and market
- go through 3 points about how your company addresses the problem
- let people know where you are in your speech (kind of like calling out the agenda)
- let them know why you and your team are the right ones to bring this into the market
- thank them for their time and invite them to learn more about you & the company after

Just my $0.02 :)

Andrew

Anonymous

October 8th, 2013

Tell an emotional story. 

Priya Prakash Designer-Founder, D4SC-Changify

October 8th, 2013

Congrats Candice - 

That is great achievement. 

A 3 min presentation without slides & props is actually one of the best as you can really get the audience on your side by making your product story personalised to their context and showing it can solve a problem they face daily.

Asking a question to the audience and getting a show of hands to how many face the same the problem your product is trying to address - gets them warming up to you fairly quickly.

( you can see me trying this here as an intro ice-breaker)

Also in terms of overall structure - if you follow Chip & Dan Heath's structure in story telling ( Made to Stick is a great book, do get it if you haven't - unpacks this very well)

They advocate a structure called SUCCESS
S - Simple
U - Unexpected
C - Concrete
C - Credible
E - Emotional 
S - Stories

I understand your company does games for teens with ADHD. You have a fantastic rich story right there.

For example  following above - I would apply it below 

Ask members in the audience for a show of hands - 

How many are parents or know parents who have been faced with a situation where teens have been exhibiting XYZ behaviours? Did they wish they could seek clinical/medical attention without incurring huge fees etc? 
(emotional angle)

Another take-
How many parents would like teens to play more games to conquer ADHD? (unexpected angle)

I think by shaping your talk around the issue you are solving and having the medical data to back it up and make it credible would be very strong.

Here's a handy link for further reading:
http://www.themoleskin.com/2010/03/storytelling-in-business-elements-of-story-structure/

All the best and let us know how it went -
Regards
Priya

Aleksandra Czajka

October 8th, 2013

i'm confused. what's the competition. for the company? you obviously have to say everything they need to know for them to know the company will be successful. i would focus on that. as for making it enjoyable, practice and practice those 3minutes until you become comfortable enough for your natural personality come through. however, if your natural personality doesn't have a sense of humor, i'd ask your teammates to inject some jokes into what you're going to say. however, i would honestly use that 3minutes to tell the investors exactly why they should vote for you, not because you told a great story (which, yes, could also help the business), but, because you will make them money.

John Litz Founder, CEO Thumbkandi

October 8th, 2013

Story telling (without slides ) is a compelling way to make impact within a short window of time.
Use humor and drive it with emotion. Rehearse it  a few times out loud with  a friend before hand. Deliver it relaxed and confident.

Anonymous

October 8th, 2013

Make it personal and tell a story. I spoke at SVCC last weekend and this was the best advice I read. 

Anonymous

October 8th, 2013

Hey Candice-- Congrats! My main advice in this setting is: 1. Think of the 5 W's of reporting: who, what, where, when, WHY and how. Not in that order. You must impart this info, but try to do it in the form of a story as opposed to a formal presentation. Start with Why--hat tip to Simon Sinek's TED Talk. 2. Practice, a lot, but don't let your story turn stiff or rote. 3. Pay attention to your body language and movement. Videotaping yourself practice-pitching can be a huge help. It's uncomfortable, but you'll spot potentially distracting gestures or habits. 4. Um and uh are the junk food of pitches. They add no value and make people feel sorta sick. If you find yourself wanting to use a filler word, pause instead. A pause has the benefit of re-focusing the audience's attention on you. "What's she about to say?" 5. Relax and have fun! You've obviously got something great to talk about, you know your material, and you know that the people listening really want you to succeed and wow them...so, do that! :) Good luck! Cynthia

Mike Moyer

October 8th, 2013

Here is a link to the Super Awesome Presentation Zone Program: www. blpnt.co/tcxnH I've taught many winning business plan teams these techniques.

Candice Hughes, PhD, MBA

October 8th, 2013

Great comments so far! Just to clarify- there are 2 different types of votes 1) investors 2) general audience. Each company presenting is trying to please both of these audiences at the same time (which admittedly have different interests). So that is the tough part plus you only get 3 minutes to achieve this with no images (no slides or props).

Alex Murray

October 8th, 2013

If you have to make it a quick one, use the good 'ole story-telling framework: 1. Situation 2. Complication 3. Resolution (1) I was driving to grandma's. (2) the car broke down. (3) this sweet startup helped me get there. Hope this helps! Alex