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Intel & Insights
7 Tips for A Successful Finovate PresentationSeptember 29, 2015
By Katie Boyless / @katie_weathers
CSG’s banking PR professionals attended this year’s Finovate Fall conference, as part of our commitment to keeping up with the bleeding edge of fintech innovation. This was actually my fifth time attending the Finovate conference (I even got a star on my name badge to show for it), and during my tenure I’ve learned a thing or two about the Shark Tank-style presentations, and what works versus what doesn’t.
It’s still a surprise how many presenters seem to not have practiced in advance of their presentations and how many suffer a technical glitch ruining their seven minutes of fame each year. If you’ve ever attended the conference, you know this is a particularly critical crowd of knowledgeable fintech insiders who show no mercy for these types of presentation gaffs on the live Twitter feed.
As strategic communications experts, my team and I have put together a list of seven things presenters can do to fully capitalize on their stage-time at Finovate:
- Start with the why. If it’s not clear what problem you’re solving and why it’s a valuable challenge within the first 30 to 60 seconds, you might as well forget explaining the solution.
- Remember the 3 V’s. (Visual, Vocal and Verbal.) Are you loud enough, well paced, appropriately dressed and enthusiastic? These factors matter just as much as the actual content when you present live and can be distracting for an audience if ignored. With a pitch this important, the best preparation would be to hire a presentation delivery coach or PR professional.
- Practice makes perfect. Practice in front of colleagues, friends, family, in the mirror or better yet, record yourself. Practice enough to no longer need a script. This audience expects you to know your solution so well you can pitch it to anyone, anytime, anywhere so make sure you can deliver without prompts and, most importantly, within the time limit.
- Explore the stage. While presenting tends to be a two-person job, most of the presenters not controlling the actual demo stand too close to their teammates. Use the space on stage to command a greater presence and be more engaging visually for your audience.
- Show, don’t tell. The key to a truly successful Finovate presentation lies within the demo. Make sure you provide a real, live demonstration of your solution if you want a shot at a positive reception. This audience knows better than to accept screen shots or presentations disguised as demos. Keep introductions brief, remember to share the why (see tip number one) and then get to the good stuff as quickly as possible.
- Roll with the punches. A handful of times I’ve seen the anger and regret show through on a presenter’s face when they’ve been gonged for going over time, if this happens to you take it in stride. Finish what you have to say as best you can and step off the stage confidently. Remember, you are representing your both your company’s brand and solution and you don’t want to react hastily out of frustration if something goes wrong.
- Act like you’ve been there before. Don’t waste a portion of your presentation asking for a “Best in Show” vote, it doesn’t come off as genuine and won’t affect the outcome. Spend that time really nailing your presentation based on the above tips and the votes will come!
CSG Purchases Van for Local Nonprofit
Since day one, Communications Strategy Group (CSG®) has had an emphasis on giving back. As our team continues to grow, we now have even more opportunities to support causes within our community. To address these opportunities, CSG just launched a philanthropy committee comprised of members from each practice. The committee meets once a week to discuss potential donations and volunteer opportunities for our team.
The committee particularly looks into supporting causes our employees are passionate about. CSG recently purchased a van for Foraged Feast, a local nonprofit that Education Practice team member Dany Rossman is involved in leading. The organization works with public spaces, private homes and local farms to collect food for shelters and other nonprofits that support the underserved.
When CSG learned Foraged Feast needed additional help transporting produce to those in need, we found a van to help the organization carry larger quantities of food across town. “Adding another vehicle increased our impact exponentially—it gives us the ability to collect an additional 40,000 extra pounds of produce a season,” Dany told CSG. “The extra market collection now puts food into the hands of an additional 266 people every day.”
Later this month, members of the CSG team will join Dany and Foraged Feast to harvest apples and pears in a nearby orchard and deliver them to the less fortunate.Read More »