Love fashion and TV shows like CBC’s Dragon’s Den? You might want to check out this event.
FGI Toronto is hosting a competition, The Pitch where five aspiring fashion designers have the opportunity to compete for a prize package worth $20,000 in services to help elevate their brand. I don’t know who the five designers are yet, but having judged an industry competition similar in nature with the Toronto Fashion Incubator and Youth Employment Services‘ for the Passion for Fashion program over a number of years, I know how nervewracking this could be for the designers. Doing it in front of an audience will make it even more nervewracking, I am sure.
Designer David Dixon presents the Eveleen Dollery Award to Fashionista’s Den Competition Winner Dylan Uscher at the Passion for Fashion Awards in 2012. Photo by Ryan Emberley
Here are some of my tips on how to present your brand to a panel – maybe you might even want to use these tips if you ever get on Dragon’s Den. And why not submit yourself? Quite a number of entrepreneurs have been on and had much success from their appearances.
Preparing before pitching is key. You should know your company and what you are selling inside out. You don’t want to be caught off guard by a question and not know the answer.
Rehearse your presentation pitch to an associate or a trusted friend who is also a business owner. This will prepare you when you are in front of the panel and also give you some good feedback – tell them to be direct and honest if they notice room for improvement.
Know your financial plan: cash flow projections, sales strategies you have in place to achieve those financial goals, your costing, and projected additional expenses which may come in to play as your business grows.
Arrive early and allow yourself to relax, have a coffee, review your notes, and do a quick bathroom trip for a last-minute grooming check. Take a deep breath before you enter that room – you got this!
DURING THE PITCH
All your preparation leading up to the big day will pay off – you will be able to answer any questions thrown your way with ease.
Don’t rush what you want to say. You have the stage and all eyes are on you – use the time you have to get all your major point across.
Accept criticism and advice graciously, even if you don’t agree with them – this is your brainchild after all and you are never obligated to agree to anything anyone has to say about your business.
Always thank the panel for their time, then pat yourself on the back for getting up there and putting yourself and your brand out there!
And buy your tickets to The Pitch to see how these five designers do:
Date: Tuesday, July 23
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Location: Artscape Daniels Launchpad, 130 Queens Quay East, Toronto
Tickets: from $15 – $25 and are available for sale online here.