Three Tips When Public Speaking

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Startup Institute’s capstone event for our full-time program is the student exposé, a reverse demo-day in which students pitch themselves to the startup community. The catch? They have only sixty seconds and one powerpoint slide to sell themselves, share their story and capture the attention of their fellow peers, community members and hiring managers. 

After weeks of iterating on their skill set, understanding the important of emotional intelligence and expanding their professional network in Boston, Chicago or New York our students were ready to deliver.

Looking back, the student expose was a great debut for me as I moved to a new city to embark on my startup journey. Countless hours were spent privately and with my classmates, memorizing and perfecting our sixty seconds of fame. In my opinion, the power of our pitches relied on three traits:

Be Authentic. No need to emulate “CEO” of “X” startup. Be proud of your skills, personality, interests - your brand. Focus on what makes you unique and play it up as much as possible. 

Connect With The Audience. Remember the basics - eye contact, power pose, a smile. These actions not only help you physically while presenting, they can draw the audience into your story. 

Have Fun. Public speaking is a common fear but it is manageable Speaking in front of others, especially about yourself, is an opportunity to communicate your message. Your personal pitch does not need to read like a dictionary. Be quick, creative and memorable. 

To learn more about Startup Institute’s program, click here.


Ijeoma S. Nwatu is an alum of the inaugural class of Startup Institute New York. She now serves as the Marketing & Community Manager at Startup Institute New York; in addition she manages the content and social media platforms for the company.