EPIC HLK SHOWDOWN: Practice Pitch Vs. Final Pitch

After two weeks of preparing, planning, and some sweat (no tears) we thought we had a campaign strategy that was gold. When it came time for us to make our first practice pitch to our mentors we walked in like:

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We went through the slides of our presentation with confidence in our ability to make it through that first round of pitching. After we were done, our mentors asked us a ton of questions and helped us by giving feedback on where the holes were within our campaign. It became extremely evident that we still had a lot of work cut out for us and only one more week to figure it out. But as the great Aaliyah once said:

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So we hit the drawing board again with brainstorming sessions, making alterations to the presentation, incorporating more research, and expanding on certain parts that definitely needed it. We discussed everything from what we should say on each slide to how we should present this information to our audience. (NOTE: If you’re curious about advice on presentation skills scroll down to Lauren House’s blog called “Improv and Public Speaking: A Beautiful Pair”.

Before we knew it, the day was here for round two: to make our final presentation. We knew we were going to need to bring the heat if we were going to do better for this second round. The last thing we wanted to be in front of the 30+ HLK employees and a visiting Ad Club was this:

To keep us on our feet, we just reminded ourselves that we knew this stuff! We’ll do great. As the cat said:

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Shortly after, the lights dimmed, people’s voices quieted, and it was time to begin. With our hearts pounding in our chests we kept it cool, we played off each other when needed, we kept the energy high, and we did not throw up mom’s spaghetti. (Thanks Eminem!) Even when the audience was asking us questions, we didn’t hesitate. We stayed focused and did what we could to answer everyone. In the end, we were met with a lot of support and encouraging words, which made us feel like:

The following week I asked each of the interns about how they felt starting from the practice pitch and leading into the final pitch. These were a few things that they shared:

Torie: “I thought we had it figured out, but as we went through the practice pitch I realized that we needed to step up our delivery. I’m glad we had this first. Had we not had this first, then our final pitch would have been our practice pitch and it wouldn’t have been as great.”

 Nijaz: “The feedback that we got from the practice pitch definitely helped a lot.”

 Kristen: “Our mentors definitely gave us insights that were helpful. I felt as if our campaign’s story was not yet 100% consistent with strategy during the practice pitch, and their feedback helped direct our line of thinking toward making the final deliverables more cohesive.”

 For the next interns, as you move through the process keep these thoughts in mind and if you need a motivational song to keep you moving here’s a little throwback you could listen to: