Tips to winning seed competitions – disrupt.

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There’s something to be said about not listening to your teachers, and there’s something about entrepreneurs that makes them not fit the average mold. So if you happen to find yourself at the next seed _enter_name_of_competition_here_ remember one word.

.DISRUPTIVE

Sure it may be the next “synergy” but even ten years after synergy went out of  style it still means something. Disruption is now that which is in. But what’s it mean?

It’s not interrupting the class but it’s a plane that your project, you and your presentation should exist in. Esoteric description aside, it should challenge something of the status quo and provide a solution to that status quo, it should challenge everyday conventions, not augment them or add to them. This is disruption.

That is your project – now how about you? First and foremost, don’t get boggled down by others – think of yourself and try and make yourself stand out. Be it engaging questions, or coming in on the left flank when everyone else is preparing on the right, it’s putting yourself in the mentor / judge / audience’s eye – by intelligently – you got it – challenging convention.

Finally, presentation – the majority of presentations will typically focus – intro – contents – body, and have text and a few images. While this can convey your message, having too much text on your slides especially if you’re presenting your concept can work heavily against you. Why you ask?

Think back to the last time you sat through a presentation – was there text on the slides, did you listen to your speaker or did you read the sides. If you listened good for you – most people will read. Try a mix, or better yet, have no text at all. Steve Jobs, you know that Apple guy, does not use text in his presentations. Why?

Because they take away from his – on stage – presence for lack of a better word, simply put he stands out. Text is boring, conversation is interesting, and more importantly engaging. And when we say engaging – your audience needs to be involved. This doesn’t necessarily mean a Q&A – typically in the 5 minutes you have there’s no time, but that’s not to say that something can’t stir inside them.

Emotion is a powerful tool. Understand it, and use it. And remember, disrupt, disrupt, disrupt.

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