7 things to remember when presenting at Finovate

By Martin Dippenaar, Global Kinetic

Having attended Finovate and other similar conferences, I have some "do’s and dont’s" from an audience member’s perspective.  For those that are not familiar with the format of Finovate, it is refreshing: no presentations – only live demos – and only 7 minutes, after which a bell rings and your microphone gets muted. Just like at the Oscars, but without the glam, accompanying orchestra, and fake adulation.

Don’t f**k it up

This seems obvious, but when you have a couple of thousand financial decision-makers’ ears, you don’t want to mess it up. Prepare by:

Everyone knows live demos often goes haywire, but make sure yours doesn’t. You want to be remembered for a brilliant demo. Demos that hang, are slow or fail, kill your message and damage your brand.

Don’t leave the audience thinking: WTF was that???

From the outset, state the problem you intend to solve, or at least the landscape that you are working in. At Finovate NYC, a couple of presenters launched into their demos without as much as an indication of the space they were working in. The audience comes from varied backgrounds. I am not an investment banker, so when you launch into a presentation without saying what it is what you are doing, you lose me and won’t be able to get me back for the rest of the presentation. Similarly, many audience members are not technical, so if you start off by talking about neural networks or some esoteric encryption technique, you will lose the bulk of the audience who are not prepared for this information.

Once the scene is set, everyone can understand what you are on about, even if they do not understand the intricate detail.

Don’t run out of time

Some presenters tend to speak very fast when pressed for time. Not only does that make your audience feel uncomfortable, but it makes them think that you are not in control of what you are doing. Relax and use fewer words. Every word counts; so make sure they are all correct.

Don’t bring attention to the clock. We all know you only have 7 minutes, but by making comments like “Oooh I am running out of time”, you distract the audience from your message and look unprofessional. Just don’t. Don’t rush your words. Less is more.


Be innovative and capture their imagination

At Finovate NYC, the number of truly innovative products was only a handful. None of the security solutions, of which there were many, were particularly innovative.

By all means, have a personality

Don’t drone. Say 'hi', introduce yourself, and off you go in a relaxed and friendly manner. If you mumble, rush, or look frightened, we are all frightened. Have support on stage with you, or even better, have someone else run the physical demo while you talk and explain. This most definitely works best.

Follow up solidly in your exhibition booth

Lastly, don’t say anything until you are 100% sure the sound engineer has muted your microphone.  This can be incredibly awkward, and it was, last year at Finovate NYC.  If you were there, you know who I’m talking about.

See you at Finovate Spring in San Jose end April 2017!


Global Kinetic are FinTech Software Specialists that provide Accurate Project Estimations with Affordable Team Augmentation.

Get in touch via our corporate website at www.globalkinetic.com

 Finovate Spring 2017