As the Regional Finals are little under a month away, the team have a lot of work ahead of them.
After their success at the Area Finals, Mark from Brand 51 who was a Business Advisor for the St Bede’s team Evoke kindly offered to come and see the students for a review of their branding and how he can help them to develop it. As an additional bonus to this, he invited his professional contact Richard from Three Cherries to help the students work on their presentation and sales skills.
This was the week they kindly offered to attend one of the team’s meetings and add their input. The team were very excited to have an external perspective on their product, promotion and presentation.
Richard kick started the session being quite abrupt and asking the students if they wanted to win the competition. Only a few of them raised their hands, I think the confidence level still lacked slightly. Little to their knowledge, this was soon going to change! Richard then took this and started saying to them, if they continue to lack in confidence they will not succeed, this hard truth really hit home with the students. From that moment on their ears pricked up and their full attention was on what he had to say. They are all determined to win and with this support they might just do it.
Richard then asked the 3 students who presented at the Area Finals to replay their pitch to him. Billy, Lily and Tom stood up and reeled off what they could remember. It was clear even to me that this retake wasn’t that confident or slick. This was where Richard’s expertise’s were so valuable. He started to critique each of the student’s posture and eloquence. He was very impressed with the quality of what they were saying but not with the way they came across. He therefore started to look at how they can present themselves to an audience through posture, hand positioning, head movements, voice projection and speech. It was remarkable to see how the students developed after an hour of work. They have learnt so much and taken away a vast amount. Moving forward, I think practicing their script and presentation skills will be incorporated into every meeting. It was also interesting to hear Richard say that they all needed to be as slick as each other when it comes to presenting as it anything happened with the 3 who are set to present, someone would have to step in. I don’t think this registered with several the students before this was stated and has shown they have a lot of work ahead of them.
Once Richard had finished his session, it was time for Mark to work with the team. Mark started by asking the team what branding and marketing they have so far. This consisted of 2 pull up banners, a website and some handmade business cards. For them to excel in the finals, Mark knew they needed more to presented as professional and business like. With this said, he suggested that he helps them to develop a strategy moving forward ranging from of a plan for the website, business cards and a 4-page leaflet. For Mark to help them, they needed to get some copy written and the assets sent over to him. This was a big task for Hannah to take on as Marketing Manager and Lily to assist with as the amazing copywriter she is!
All this branding work alongside the presentation skills they learnt over the course of the meeting has really knocked the team into shape and has shown that they need to be putting in a large amount of effort both inside and outside of school. This is a big learning curve for them all, I just hope they use it to their advantage and excel with the tools and resources they have been given. I will keep you updated as only time will tell.