As part of my Design Thinking mentorship role in the Teens in AI French Hackathon in January 2021, I was asked to present to the 7 teams of smart teenagers how to pitch their Hackathon product in front of a (Zoom) jury.
Here is my presentation (in French):
Hackathon Judging Criteria
It's always important to understand the judging criteria to ensure you cover all the points and hit the mark! This specific AI-focused hackathon was aligned with the 4th UN Sustainable Development Goals of Education. The main criteria included:
- Design & Implementation: Does it work? Is it implementable? Did the team think about the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX)? Was the product designed with humans in mind?
- Innovation: How innovative / creative / unique is the idea? Was there a novel approach applied to solve the problem?
- Technical Complexity: Is the project technically impressive? Complex? How technically sophisticated / advanced / elegant was the solution?
- Social Impact: How impactful is the idea? Can it impact the lives of many people in a significant way? Is the idea aligned with and addresses any of the UN Sustainable Development Goal of Education?
- Commercial Viability: Is there a business potential? How original is the business model? Has the team considered route to market and has made proactive actions to execute an action plan? Is the idea feasible, does it have economic and societal value, and is it sustainable?
- Ethical Considerations: What might go wrong? How will you mitigate this?
Hackathon Presentation - Slides Template
With the time slot allocated for the presentation being only 3 minutes (including a technical demo), I recommend following this slide order/template to keep it short and snappy:
- The Product
- Ethics Consideration
- Business Model
Generic Presentation Tips
For any presentation, there are always key things that will always be useful. Not just for a hackathon but any job interview, pitch to a client or internal meeting with colleagues. Here are my top 5:
- Share a personal story: make it personal. Grab everyone's attention by sharing how and why you are presenting today. It helps connect with your audience and set the scene, present the context of your vision.
- Scale your vision: sell the dream and how your ideas need to be developed. How does it go from a local challenge to a global solution? Or at a smaller scale, how does your solution benefit the rest of the company?
- Work in a team: you might be presenting on your own but always involve the wider team who support you. Use their names
- Speak slowly: even if you are stressed or shy, chose your words wisely and stay calm. Speak slowly and take pauses between your sentences and slides. It will let the audience digest your ideas, for a greater impact.
- Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse: especially when you are give a fixed time (whether 3 minutes, 20 minutes or 1-hour) , you need to stick to it! Make sure you practice enough, time yourself and ask colleague or friends & family for feedback before the big day!
Hope you find this useful. Get in touch if you have additional questions or feedback, always happy to discuss!