The best thing you can do to prepare for your presentation is complete this Nomination Form. This form will ensure that you have the key information you’ll need to present if you’re selected. Used in conjunction with the tips below, the nomination form will guide you in giving a detailed and professional presentation (but don’t forget the “heart” story!)
If your name is selected, you only have 5 minutes to tell what you do, what kind of impact you make and what you will specifically do with the money given to you. Use the time you have been given to make a huge impact. Here are a few tips:
1) Know the facts!
Practice your elevator speech. You need to be able to tell the story of the work your organization does in under 1 minute. People get lost easily by drawn out explanations. Write down what you do, how you do it and who is affected. Then wrap that around a few sentences and viola! you’ve got your pitch. If an organization is drawn that you are a part of and you don’t feel confident to be able to clearly and concisely convey the message, pass this time and brush up on the organization you are involved in so you can make a solid pitch. 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.
2) 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…get it under one minute and PRACTICE it.
3) 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 the ladies’ hard earned money will go once they write that check will find they struggle to get those checks written at all. I’m not talking about detailed financial statements here, what I am talking about is a strong description of what the funds will be supporting. It could be general operating budget to 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. If you don’t explain during your five minutes, you will likely be asked during the Q & A, so you should still be prepared with an answer.
– From Heidi Boynton, 100 Women Who Care Santa Cruz