Maddie Silverstein is a student at Mamaroneck High School in New York. She placed fourth in the Introduction to Business Presentation at the 2018 National Leadership Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Maddie agreed to sit down with FBLA National President Eu Ro Wang to share her experience competing in Introduction to Business Presentation.
Why did you choose Introduction to Business Presentation as your event?
I felt that that event could utilize my speaking skills which is one of my strongest skill sets. It also included a very broad prompt, “What does FBLA mean to me”, and I thought that I could take that to make different directions and I could be very creative with that topic.
So explain to me how the event works.
You are given a prompt, whatever it is for the year, and you have to create a 7 minute Business presentation about that prompt. There really aren’t many guidelines other than that it has to be 7 minutes. There’s a Q&A following the presentation, but that’s about it.
How did you prepare for this event?
To prepare it took me a long time to come up with the concept, that was probably the most difficult part. My concept I think is what was the sharpest part of the entire presentation, and that’s something that’s very important when developing any project for FBLA, having very strong concept. One I had my concept I look at previous examples, got advice from my advisers, and then I developed a framework that I was going to fill out. I divided my presentation into four different parts: F, B, L, and A. For each part I gathered research, I interviewed people, I created videos with the interview, I created graphs from surveying people, it was a lot of outreach and a lot different components that went into it. Creating and editing the script took a while, making sure to be extremely concise as to not go over the time constraint and also keeping it very informative. That took a while to produce but in the end it all came together.
Tell us how you cooperated with your team, what methods you used to delegate tasks, and how that part worked in general.
My group member actually didn’t compete with me at Nationals, but prior to Nationals, there was a lot of communication with dividing the group work and a lot of meeting outside of school. It’s very important to meet outside of school as much as you can, and I think although you can save a lot of time by email, meeting up to do work is just the best way to do it. We would meet up, divide the plan for the next time we would meet up and divide up the work in between us, and that had to be done for the following time that we were going to meet up, whether that was designing these three slides or writing these three portions of the script or edit this portion of the script and interview this portion, whatever that was, we had to make sure we were meeting time deadlines and that was probably one of the biggest tasks we had to do as a team.
You mentioned that one of the reasons you chose this event was because it really highlighted your skill of public speaking. How important do you think the presentation aspect is for this event?
Honestly I think the presentation spect is the most important part, yes I had a strong concept but I know that my show could have been more complex and I only had programs in my slide show so what I think really helped was my confidence speaking and my rehearsal. If you are confident speaking in front of the judges that can make you stand out from everybody else.
What did you learn from competing in this event? What are your greatest takeaways from this event?
I would say that my first takeaway is that you could never enter a competition without preconceived notion, like I went to Nationals thinking that I was not going to make it to the next round and there were so many talented people competing against me that I really had no shot. You just have to focus on your best work and you never know what the judges are going to see what the judges are going to think, and you really have to put your best foot forward because it can turn out either way. ANother thing that I got out of it was the importance of public speaking, and that could definitely set you apart from the competition if you are confident and rehearsed. With partners creating deadlines is really helpful when construction these projects and meeting your own deadlines, not just the ones for the project.
What kind of people do you recommend this event for?
I would recommend this event for people who are confident in their speaking skills or people who want to better their public speaking skills or enjoy public speaking and also someone who may want to practice their presentation giving. Since this is a very broad event people who are creative and don’t want to follow specific guidelines tend to gravitate towards this competition as well.
Great, is there last advice you will like to give to people competing in this event?
Just put your best foot forward, be confident, and as long as you’re doing your best you will definitely find success.
Thank you Maddie!