One of the most important elements of a tech ecosystem is the level of collaboration that takes place in the community. That’s why Startup Weekend, a global event in which participants pitch their ideas, form teams, and build a viable product in only 54 hours, is such a valuable opportunity for entrepreneurs. More than 40 entrepreneurs registered for a recent Startup Weekend Idaho event, and event organizer Tribute Media lined up a keynote speaker for each day to guide and inspire participants.
On the first day of the event, participants had a chance to hear from Dale Dixon, president of Idaho’s Better Business Bureau and a media veteran with over a decade of experience. Dixon focused his remarks on helping attendees sell their ideas and be successful in connecting with people.
Dixon encouraged attendees to be genuine in order to showcase their passions and inspire others. He used Steve Jobs’s iPhone release speech as an example of how to give an effective presentation, highlighting 3 characteristics that helped Jobs inspire his audience.
1. Project confidence through your body language. Jobs didn’t hide behind a podium; he exuded confidence by owning his space.
2. Use self-deprecating humor to help people connect with you. During his presentation, Jobs got a good laugh from the audience by talking about how Apple is going to reinvent the phone and then showing a picture of an iPod with a rotary phone dial. By making fun of himself, Jobs built a connecting point between himself and the audience.
3. Be simple. When presenting the iPhone, Jobs didn’t describe every single feature. Instead, he simply repeated, “It’s an iPod, it’s a telephone, and it’s an Internet communication device,” several times for emphasis. Our minds like to process things in threes, and the simplicity of Jobs’s description made it easier for the audience to remember the most important things.
Dixon encouraged participants to build confidence by focusing on how their business gives value to others. As entrepreneurs realize how their idea provides genuine value, it creates passion and pushes fear aside. He concluded by encouraging attendees to let their emotion and passion shine through when presenting their business pitch.
Guest author Malcolm Hong is a writer and tech advocate with a passion for innovation. He’s connected to entrepreneurism and technology through his work managing the activities of the Idaho Technology Council, the state’s largest member-driven association that fosters the growth of Idaho’s tech ecosystem. Originally from Hawaii, Malcolm quickly realized that Idaho does a great job of growing startups, not just potatoes. Follow Malcolm on Twitter: @IDTechCouncil.