You’ve been nominated to present at a 100 Women Who Give a Hoot meeting? Congratulations! Here are some tips to help prepare for your 5 minute presentation:
1) Make it COUNT!
5 minutes to make it count, to be exact. Whether you are the founder, a volunteer or a donor, if you are going to be the representative to pitch the group for funding your organization, you’ll want to be able to clearly and concisely explain what it does and how it does it. In a matter of five minutes you’ve got to be able to tell what they do, what kind of impact they make and what specifically the organization would do with the award money. The women sitting in this room have come and are committed to 100 Women Who Give a Hoot because of the simplicity of the model, the community impact and the camaraderie among the group. Use the time you have given to educate and move them. Even if you aren’t chosen as the benefactor for the night, you have an audience of passionate women, eager to making a difference here in our local community, excited to hear your story!
2) Know the facts!
Practice your elevator speech. Generally, you should be able to tell the basic story of the work your organization does in under one minute. Drawn out explanations lose people easily. Write down what they do, how they do it and who is affected. Then wrap that around a few sentences, some relevant facts and you’re well on your way. If you don’t feel confident to be able to clearly and concisely convey the message, you can always pass this time. By doing so, you are giving your organization time to brush up on the presentation so you can make a solid pitch if/when you are randomly selected in the future. Sometimes if there isn’t clarity it can do more to hurt the organization you are trying to help by confusing those that are hearing about it for the first time.
3) Tell the HEART story!
Be sure to think of a way to tie in a personal story of those you impact with the work you do so that the group has a very clear understanding and then connection to that work. As you prepare, write down WHY you are involved. Why does it matter to you and who/what have you seen change in the times you have been involved that have mattered to you? If it matters to you, it will probably matter to someone else. Write down a short story of how the work of the organization directly made a change and time it; Aim to get this piece under one minute and PRACTICE it.
4) Show them the MONEY!
Where will the money go!? The people in the room are ready to make a wise choice about where they donate. Those that struggle to define where our group’s financial donation will go (should they be voted as the award recipient) will find they struggle to get those checks written at all. We’re not talking about detailed financial statements here, but rather a strong description of what the funds will be supporting. It could be general operating budget to help grow a new local organization; it could be for materials to distribute as a part of the program’s work. Taking the time to find out where the money will go pays off in the long run and will give you the confidence to stand up and make your pitch to the group.
And most of all, remember that you are here because of the great work your organization is doing! 100 Women Who Give a Hoot is looking forward to hearing from you, so be sure to enjoy the time and have some fun. Good luck.
*AV system will be available. Please send us any slides you may be using 48 hours in advance of the event date to ensure accessibility.
Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.