What do You Learn in a Presentations Skills Bootcamp?

This Thanksgiving, a group of students made the most of their holiday break with the FEC Presentation Skills Bootcamp.

The course combines the hard skills of business with the soft skills of pitching. As students work through this course, they participate in a 3-day pitch event and receive mentorship from experienced professionals and entrepreneurs on how to give successful presentations. This bootcamp course is taught by Ethan Schur, a respected speaker, panelist, and moderator who has appeared on Forbes and CNN, as well as CEO at Grush and co-author of several patents and papers. By the end of this intensive program, students have learned comprehensive pitching knowledge and techniques while showcasing their new skills in a pitching competition.

For this bootcamp, the Presentation Skills course was split into four sessions. Each student initially chose a successful company’s first pitch deck, such as Airbnb and LinkedIn, and had a goal to polish it throughout the course.

Session 1–Fundamentals of Pitching

In the first session, students learned about the fundamentals and history of pitching from a Silicon Valley perspective. To master the fundamentals, students were taught basic pitch elements such as crafting an attention-grabbing introduction and building a solidly outlined plan. These fundamentals were then put together as students worked on their elevator pitch, which is a short persuasive speech used to spark interest in a project, idea, or product. Schur taught two types of pitching: a 60-second elevator pitch and a 5-minute pitch, both effective in the business world. He also taught tips and tricks on how to pitch successfully. Session one closed with students giving their first pitch and Q&A session.

Session 2–Preparation is Key

For session two, the students learned how to be ready — for anything. Being prepared is a crucial element of pitching and presenting. Without it, a presenter cannot be successful. This means having the product vision down and crafting the story so that it is optimized for the audience. It also means knowing how to pivot if something goes wrong. While students learned that it’s ok to be nervous, it’s important to continue no matter what. Learning how to pivot shows creativity and flexibility, as well as a willingness to go the extra mile. By learning how to be ready in these ways, students are preparing themselves to be a successful presenter and pitcher in any setting. Students then got to apply their new skills in the second pitch presentation and Q&A.

Session 3–Polish the Pitch!

Session three is where students polished their pitch. Once they understood the fundamentals of a pitch, students were able to dig deeper. They learned about the importance of metrics, along with mental and physical techniques for a successful pitch. The mental techniques included memorization, off-the-cuff speaking, and mind over matter for when they become nervous. Although the majority of a pitch may be about wording and ideas, it’s just as important to learn posture and body language as they help in coming across as more confident, thus leading to a more successful pitch. Add in some impressive metrics and boom! The pitch is instantly more fundable. Session three ended with another pitch presentation and Q&A.

Session 4–Show Off Your Pitching Skills!

All of this hard work culminated in session four, where students had their final pitch and Q&A session. Here, students got to show off their newfound skills in presenting and pitching. Having mastered the basics, students also learned the three key principles of high-level fundamentals, as well as a four-step framework. As a fun extra, Schur taught the group how to set up the ideal pitching environment, from a microphone to the lightning and more. When pitching, every detail counts to make it successful. By learning the basic skills and the pro tips and tricks, students ended this class ready to take their knowledge into real life.

What’s so extraordinary and impressive about this course is that it’s perfect for any level. For example, Chris had joined many business-related events and pitched a couple of times but still benefited from this course. Then there was Hillary, who was relatively new to the subject and learned a great deal. Even Cindy in 7th grade with no business background walked away with new, lifelong skills to use.

If you’re ready to give your child these advantages, Harmony Plus is offering this FEC Presentation Skills Bootcamp again over the Christmas break. Make the most of their time this holiday season and give them the gift of lifelong success with presentation skills.

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