I’m a college student getting my degree in business. I’m looking at entrepreneurship once I’m out of college. I’ve always had entrepreneurship on my mind. After all, I was the one selling soda to the other kids on the field trips. But here’s the thing: on coming to college, I’ve noticed that my professors are asking a lot more from me than just soda and a money box. We do a lot of presentations and pitching, and I just don’t have the polish my professors are asking for. I’ve gotten that same comment probably three classes in a row. I know it’s not my suit. What are your tips for brushing up on my presentations, and taking them to the next level?
You’re right to be thinking of these things now. Getting used to giving your presentations that extra polish will go a long way to wooing investors — getting them onboard with your idea is what being an entrepreneur is all about. Learning your style in the safety of the classroom is critical to success later on. That being said, let’s go over some ways you can get into your groove and give a presentation that seals the deal.
One of the most important skills necessary for running any business is the ability to bring an idea into the real world. You need to show that you can do this, and one of the most effective ways to do so is to include swag. When you go to a conference, you will end up leaving with bags and bags of swag. Why? There are two reasons: the first reason is branding, little micro-advertisements that remind somebody about the company every time they pick up a branded swag pen. The second is goodwill; if you give your attendees something that’s useful to them, they will think about your company whenever they use it.
In your particular situation, including swag with your presentation will show that you have the discipline and skill needed to create something from nothing. Consider including various types of swag with your next presentation, especially material that would be useful to the professors and other students. This can include printed folders, because what’s a better way to remind people of your idea than offering a way to hold all their loose paperwork?
Something as simple as those aforementioned printed folders will leave an indelible impression on your professors and classmates. Every time they reach into their backpack or bag, they will have a little token of your work to take out with them. It also shows that you are thinking about the needs of your customers. In our digital world, so much of our lives are on electronic shuffle that something as simple as custom office supplies instantly become memorable. Furthermore, it demonstrates that you have the logistical, budgeting, design, and creative skills that will behoove a later career in the business and entrepreneurship world.
To give your presentations that extra polish we’ve been talking about, we recommend showing that you are willing to go to the next level for your business ideas, and that you are able to create the kind of planning that helps a business go from being a dream to a reality. Once you have worked to develop and improve that critical ability, you can be confident in your grit and perseverance. Because the truth is, being an entrepreneur isn’t a class, it’s a lifestyle. And the earlier you start living that life, the better off you’ll be.