Prior to the annual live competition a workshop is conducted to prepare the children for presenting their inventions to the finalist judges. Teaching the workshop this year were USF assistant professor Dr. Emily Ryalls and EASA Software CEO and 5-time finalist judge Dr. Sebastian Dewhurst.
Dr. Ryalls advised finalists that being nervous was perfectly normal and actually gives speakers an edge with a rush of adrenaline. Everyone has “butterflies” when they give a big presentation…the key is to get those butterflies to “fly in formation.” Another key topic covered by Dr. Ryalls is how to organize their presentation into logical stages and keep things brief.
Dr. Dewhurst gave the audience and acronym to remember: NBAC which stands for “needs, benefits, advantages and costs.” Relaying each of these topics to a judge (or investor) conveys the value of the invention most efficiently. Both presenters advised the finalists to hold back on revealing their invention until they’ve established the problem they seek to solve and build some anticipation for the solution.
All those attending noted the inventions and presentations were some of the best ever presented in the competition and there is great anticipation for Monday night’s event.