#14: Pitch To An Audience: Get Experience in Public Speaking and Customer Feedback

JNP WON! — Best Business Start-Up! at The Annapolis $5 Soup — a great way to practice your presentation in front of a live audience and get validated [potential customer] feedback.

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 6.56.05 PMThrough my local networking, I meet two professionals that were promoting and supporting the evolution of local start-up businesses. They have a monthly event (which i had to apply for on line) in which a business would be chosen to present on stage with 4 or 5 other start-ups in front of a voting audience; they would choose the winner based on presentation and business concept.

I presented a 5 minute pitch to an audience of about 30 — the criteria was “just speak to the audience.” No presentation, but props or display items were acceptable (it was on stage with lights and a microphone), and this was my second presentations experience for JNP; different than the first 10 minute pitch presentation—the objective was to “sell” the business concept to the group and win over their vote as best new business presentation.

Once each pitch was completed, we had open Q&A. That was quite interesting, as this was my first experience in this forum. I received several really good questions that I answered very well (due to my practice with the AAEDC’s mentoring program). My presentation skills were growing. I was feeling more confident in myself representing the JNP brand.

In the end, each audience member filled out an evaluation form and the tally was in—JNP voted best new start-up! I received the audience comments—more excellent feedback, and great marketing research to boot (and added that to my binder for future reference).

My take away: the experience made me “think” about the content of my presentation, my public speaking skill sets, and how I presented to generate audience energy and excitement with the product. I added interest to my pitch utilizing a display of a few plush toys (originally created with the first round test marketing), and found this to be an added element of interest and excitement with the audience.

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Note: This Blog is a chronological diary of a start-up-company—The JNP Project’s Journey—reading it from the start, will broaden your understanding of the path we are on, together, and hopefully, positively influence you in some way!

FYI Tip: Getting involved in pitch presentations absolutely builds presentation skills and experience. Local networking and economic support groups are an excellent way to get great business direction.

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