If the organization you nominated is chosen your presentation should be simple. You have 5 minutes to tell the members what they do, what kind of an impact they make and what they will do with the money, if awarded. The members you are presenting to are there because of the simplicity, decisiveness and the camaraderie of women working together. Your presentation should be informative but also explain why you are passionate about the organization and reasons why the members should vote for it. Visual aids and handouts are not allowed due to time limitations.
KNOW THE FACTS!
You need to be able to tell the story of the work the organization you are representing is doing in under 1 minute. People get lost easily by drawn out explanations. Write down what they do, how they do it and who is affected. Then wrap that around a few sentences and voila you’ve got your pitch.
TELL THE HEART OF THE STORY!
It is helpful to think of a way to tie in a personal story of those benefiting with the work they do so that the group has a very clear understanding and connection to that work. As you prepare, write down why this organization is important to you. If it matters to you, it will probably matter to someone else.
SHOW THEM THE MONEY!
Where will the money go! The people in the room are ready to make a wise choice about where they donate. Present a strong description of what the funds will be supporting.
Presentation Content (TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
1. Introduce yourself and the organization.
2. If you are a member of the organization, use ‘we’ not ‘they’. Why do you choose to participate in this organization?
3. Focus on the need in Manitowoc County and how your organization responds to and services this need. Share the geography and number of people served by your organization.
4. Why should members choose your organization for their donation?
5. How is the organization currently funded?
6. Be personal, thorough, and specific. Members are always interested in how the organization uses volunteers. Be specific about the number of volunteers and volunteer hours to staff and paid hours.
7. Feel free to use this as a forum for soliciting donations of all kinds including volunteer time. What are the organization’s needs?
8. What would the impact of the donation be for your organization? A specific use of the donation helps members understand their exact impact. Identify who the funds will impact, and how many people it has served, and how many will be served by this donation. Are there any current unmet needs that could be impacted by this donation?
9. How are donations spent? What are you doing to minimize administration costs and sources of funding? Explain the measurements that will be used by the nonprofit to ensure the success of this program and make the best use of the donation. If practical, demonstrate creativity in the organization and how you make money stretch.
10. Tell human stories to make the organization and the organizational need real.
11. If you have a vision or plan to impact the future needs of Manitowoc County, please share.
12. End with a heartfelt request and a thank you to your fellow members for their consideration.
13. If you don’t know the answer to a question it’s OK - Just say you don’t know.
GENERAL SPEAKING TIPS TO A LARGE GROUP
1. Try to stand in one place. It helps the audience concentrate on your face, not on your body movements.
2. As you are speaking, create eye contact with a single participant and speak directly to them for ten to fifteen seconds and then move your gaze to another part of the room and repeat. This makes it appear as if you are personally speaking to everyone.
3. Speak slower than you would in a one-to-one conversation and pause momentarily after an important point in your talk. A large, listening audience needs a few more moments to absorb your information.
4. Begin your talk with the most important information, not a build up to the most important information. Repeat your most important information at the end of your talk. Audiences remember most what they hear first and last.
5. Everyone wants to hear what you say. The microphone is your best friend. But, if you put it too close to your mouth your words are garbled, too far away, your voice cuts out. Keep the microphone about one to two inches from your lips for the best effect.
6. During Q & A, wait for the question and then for the question to be repeated. People need the question to be repeated to clearly understand. Answer all questions concisely so that you have more time for more questions.
7. Have fun and enjoy the opportunity to promote your nonprofit!