So now we get to presenting. The most fun, terrifying and important aspect of case solving - depending on who you ask! Yes, it can be a daunting task, but it is one of life's most valuable skills, and one that you really don't get to practice often at school.
Below you will find several key case presentation tips that we developed with CBS's very own case team. To illustrate them we have posted a few clips from the CBS team that went all the way to Australia and took the trophy home in 2016!
We have also posted a few general presentation pointers that apply to all situations, not just case solving. We hope you enjoy it and more importantly find it useful!
The most important aspect of presenting your solution is how you look as a team. Take a look at the freeze frame below of our very own CBS Case Team.
Notice how while Rikke is talking, the rest of the team are playing the supporting role. However, whilst supporting you should not just look at whoever is talking, but also direct your attention to the audience, reverting to the speaker and nodding when they make an important point.
The presentation is not about one person, it is about making all of you shine. When a speaker is finished presenting, they should step back into the line allowing the next speaker to step forward.
Take another look at the freeze frame above - more specifically at the list of names on the PowerPoint and how it exactly matches the order that the group is standing in.
Just to emphasize, watch the first 15 seconds of the video below as Rikke announces the line up that the team is going to present in:
It may not seem like a big deal, but little things like this add clarity to your presentation and show that you have put time and effort into thinking about your performance. It also gives structure so that you can keep a clear mind throughout your presentation.
It is so important to appear composed on stage, even if you're feeling nervous inside. Watch how Ricco, the team member delivering the in depth solution, stands still whilst he makes his valuable points.
Ricco stands still for nearly four minutes straight, really conveying his confidence to the judges and audience, which makes his argument seem more concrete and impressive. In addition, keeping stable makes it a lot easier to maintain good posture and voice projection!
When making a key point, you want both the judges and audience to realize this. It's therefore important that you use your body language to emphasize this, and signal to those watching that you are confident in the argument that you are making.
Watch how Jacob illustrates this below when responding to a question:
The step forward gives a sense of power and confidence in his answer. A common mistake is to actually step back which has the opposite effect - giving the sense that you don't really know what you're talking about!
Many people are often amazed that presenters can recite a speech without looking at their slides. But what they don't realize is that it is just practice and knowledge of the subject that allows them to do so, and it looks so much more impressive than just reading off a screen.
Let's use Jacob as an example again:
Watch how smooth he looks as he glides through the slides, barely looking at the presentation whilst making his points. Since he already knows his stuff, he's able to make eye contact with the judges which again conveys confidence and gives weight to his points. It enables him to use his body language in a different way which is so, so valuable!
Finally there is the Q&A, where it could be any of you that are answering the questions. Take a look at the video below as Rikke announces the end of the main presentation to signal the start of the Q&A.
Notice how the team comes closer together in this section (apart from Rikke who goes to take over the slides), giving off a sense of togetherness and readiness for any question that comes their way. In addition, look how the person with the microphone doesn't just answer the question straight away, but the team takes a measured approach as to who is best suited to deliver a good response.
Our final case presentation pointer is just to check that the clicker - or any technology you are using - actually works! It might not make your presentation, but it definitely has the potential to break it if it doesn't work.
If you've stuck with us this far then congratulations! As a reward below there are some general presentation tips that, combined with the above, with put you in great shape for any case competition. Oh, and here's a link to the full video!
Arguably the most important part of presenting is your attitude going into the presentation. If you are positive and confident in yourself then that will really translate to the audience through your body language and tone of voice.
Take a look at the video below from the 2014 Toastmasters International world champion of public speaking Dananjaya Hettiarachchi for his top tips on body language.
Notice how your attitude can really become obvious through your body language. Of course, you may well be nervous and it is ok to be, but practicing positive body language both conveys confidence and can also calm yourself down.
One of the most common problems when presenting is the rate of speech. When you get nervous, it's natural to speak faster and therefore enunciate your words less, making it even harder for the audience to understand you.
Take a look at this video explaining the importance of enunciation (and Batman!):
This is an obvious one, but don't underestimate it. There are plenty of ways to do this - for example telling a story, interacting with the audience or even just embarrassing yourself. The audience are just like you and want to connect with you. This video explains further how you can keep them hanging off your every word...
Simple, right? Putting some serious effort into this will become obvious to the audience quickly and will only add to their attentiveness.