Stressed about ICE Week? We hear you. That's why we've compiled some tips to help you crush it...
- Add slides JUST for the Q&A session
It's a given that you should try to anticipate questions that the judges will ask you, and plan your responses to those questions. But to go the extra mile, try preparing slides that specifically answer certain questions - just in case those questions are asked - and put these slides in AFTER your conclusion slide. Only use these slides in the Q&A session if they can be used to explain your answer or to back up your proposal. We would recommend adding a slide or two that show how you derived your financials, in case the judges ask.
- Make the intro compelling
You've got to keep in mind that the judges are watching 4 or 5 presentations in a row about the same case, and it can probably get...well...boring. To grab their attention (and to make your presentation more memorable), ensure that your presentation's introduction is compelling. Short stories, quotes, or fables can grab their attention and start your presentation on the right foot - just remember to keep those stories, quotes, or fables relevant to the company's situation.
- Predetermine which group members will attempt to answer which questions
Q&A sessions can be tricky, especially when presenting with a group. So we'd recommend speaking with your group prior to the presentation and splitting up the types of questions that may be asked. For example, if your group member George is solid at finance, then agree that George will attempt to answer the first questions that are asked about the derivation of the financials. If your group member Sam wrote the section on the targeted segments/markets, then Sam will attempt to answer the first questions that are posed about them. No matter what, DON'T allow just one or two members to answer all the questions - judges may view this as an indication that one or two members did all the work, and thus conclude that the group is not functioning like a proper team.
- Stay aware of your body language when your group members are presenting
Though it can be tempting to completely zone out while the members of your group are presenting, don't - that's something that the judges can and will pick up on. Make an effort to appear interested and engaged throughout the presentation. Avoid fidgeting, leaning on the whiteboard, yawning, looking bored, and turning to look at the room's clock. All of these things will make it seem like you aren't interested in what your group members are saying - and if you're not interested, why should the judges be?
- DON'T use "we," "our," or "us" in your report or presentation, unless you're referring to your ICE group
It's easy to lapse into saying "we," "our," and "us" when referring to the company, but you have to remember that during ICE Week, your group is playing the role of CONSULTANTS - you are NOT employees of the company, unless the case states otherwise. As such, you should always try to refer to the company by its name.
- Keep in mind that the presentation does not have to be formatted the same way the report was
You don't necessarily have to present your proposal in the same format that your report was written in. While you certainly can, you can also try presenting the information in a "What," "Why, "How" format, or in another format entirely.