(not) King's Speech

11 Jun 2012 - 3 mins

A while ago I went to Startup Weekend Rio and, as a shy guy, I was embarrassed to do a public pitch. 60 seconds to “sell” an idea and motivate people join and build something.

As one of the last three to pitch an idea, I became increasingly afraid to get on “stage” in front of the crowd and talk! With some friends and my girlfriend motivating me, I finally made it up there, and it was pretty cool. People liked and voted on it, and my idea was approved as one of the projects for the weekend.

But Houston, we have a problem! Ten people voted for my idea, but only one guy and my girlfriend wanted to help me for this weekend. We were the smallest team on the weekend. So with one designer, one illustrator, and one developer we delegated the tasks and focused on finishing them! On Sunday around noon, our team had prepared something that I believe was good enough to show to the judges.

Pitch Insights

Before lunch, Dave McClure spoke for 30 minutes about best practices when presenting an idea. And I just noted the main points he gave and then started to make the keynote. Time to get hands-on and create the first keynote in my life. First, I had to go to the Mac App Store and download the Keynote app. Downloading… Installing… Done. Cool. And now?

I thought “Ok, it’s my first time. Let’s just follow McClure’s topics and as he said, “Investors don’t have time to hear you talking so be quick or be dead! Be short and objective.” (Not exactly his words, but what my brain grabbed.) Below you can see what I outlined to start my keynote.

So I tried to cover all quickly, and it was easy since I already had all on my mind. I liked it very much. So with my keynote ready, the first startups started to pitch, and I was anxious because of having to face all the people and this time for more than 60 seconds.

Startups had 5 minutes to pitch and other 3 to answer questions from judges. And by the way one of the judges was the CEO of the company where I work. So much pressure! So much in my head. And with only one team left before my pitch there were some technical problems and Bedy Yang (who organized the event) asked me if we can present right now! I remember I said: “Ok, no problem…”

The next thing I notice was everyone laughing and applauding as I speak… WTF? Dave McClure liked my idea and much more importantly, he praised the first keynote I’ve done in my life.

And…

It was a great experience, and I recommend it to everyone. It’s a great event to make friends, network, eat good food, and of course, spread your ideas to the world. Thanks @annachedid and @leozeba to be part of this!

So, don’t let your shyness kill your ideas! I’m still shy and afraid of public speaking but after that experience I feel much better about this!