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Congratulations, your organization was chosen! Now what?

As a member you can choose to pitch for the organization or you can ask the executive director (ED) of the organization to pitch on your behalf. Both approaches have been successful, and the time limit is the same: 5 minutes. If the executive director presents, the nominating member (YOU!) will have the opportunity to briefly introduce the organization and ED (these introductions must be less than one minute in length). After the presentation, members have 5 minutes to ask follow-up questions. 

10 things to consider when presenting:

  1. Know your audience. 100 Women members have joined because they are giving-minded and want to learn about and support local non-profit organizations. Whether face to face or virtual, this is a very friendly and supportive audience. Members are eager to hear from you; all members want to make a difference and create impact.

  2. Be clear about what you want most to do in your pitch. 100 Women members particularly enjoy learning about organizations and what they do. Sometimes they are even inspired to support them in other ways such a joining their board, volunteering, or providing donations. Securing the majority of votes requires your credibility, passion and your ability to make a compelling case for need and impact. Since you can't accomplish everything, make sure you focus on the outcome you'd most like to achieve. 

  3. Choose a compelling story to illustrate the outcome, mission and impact of the organization. You don't need the whole beach; focus on a single grain. You want to motivate or raise awareness of one problem--the more specific, the better.

  4. Prepare to tell members what the collective donation (10K!) will be used for, if chosen. Be specific. Be compelling.

  5. Bring a fresh perspective. Nobody wants to hear about something they already know. The best presentations provide a twist. They challenge an existing idea. They provide a new solution for a common problem. Or they offer your unique take on an issue--a point of view that only you could have given your experience and knowledge of the organization.

  6. Share evidence to make your case. Now that you've decided what you want to share, give the audience a reason to believe you. Provide specific details, a personal story, an outcome, a lesson. People will only believe you if you provide some evidence or illustration of your idea.

  7. Strip out anything that doesn't fit. Remove all the extra content that is weighing down the story. Speakers often try to tell an audience every single thing they know. Don't think of your talk as a big vat of coffee. Think of it as an espresso: small, strong and potent.

  8. Don't wing it. Learn the entire talk and use only limited notes where possible. The best speakers prepare and practice--then do it again and again. This is not improv--it's a polished performance. Your goal is to create a memorable experience. You can only do some improvised stuff if you are confident and sure of the core material. If you want to show your audience respect, come prepared.

  9. Practice, practice, practice - and pay attention to time. Five minutes goes by FAST!

  10. Breathe and have some fun. We are grateful to have YOU as a member of 100 Women Who Care Boston North!

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