Ninety seconds isn’t a lot of time. But that’s all it took for Hanna Flynn to impress a panel of judges and win $200.
As part of the career development month, the elevator pitch competition was hosted on Monday afternoon at the Bayou Pointe Event Center. Named for the time it takes to ride an elevator from the top to bottom floor, each competitor had the opportunity to present a speech in 90 seconds.
Participants prepared to speak as if they were either applying for a job or pitching a business plan. The first place winner took home $200, second place $150 and third $100.
“I started working on my speech about three weeks ago,” first place winner Hanna Flynn said. “I pretty much just stood up this morning, said it to my mom about ten times in a row, and thought to myself that this is what I wanted to do.”w
She said she’d been thinking about the idea she presented in her speech for a long time. She’s always trying to think of business ideas and ways she can help the environment. So, when she received the email announcing the competition, she saw it as a chance to get some public speaking experience.
“I am really excited and honored. Once I gave the speech I thought, well, at least I got that out of the way,” Flynn said. “I really appreciate them even hearing me out because I did not expect to be in a room full of graduates and really smart people.”
Asja Jordan, who came in third place, prepared by figuring out everything she wanted to talk about, then narrowing everything down to her key points. She highly recommends competing in this event to everyone.
“I think it is good for both personal and professional development,” Jordan said. “You are challenging yourself, doing something new, and you get good feedback from the judges.”
Judge and assistant vice president for Student Affairs, Valerie Fields, said that what the judges wanted to see from candidates was the ability to communicate the overall concept for their pitch.
She said Flynn was dressed appropriately, communicated her idea well, and even gave the judges her business card at the end.
“I thought that was very dynamic,” Fields said. “I had no idea she was a freshman, so I am very excited about what things will look like for Hanna in the upcoming years.”