On Thursday 19th April 2018 fifteen teams competed in the South West Regional Business Presentation Competition organised by the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre at the Faculty of Business.
The competition gave pupils the opportunity to work alongside the University of Plymouth student ambassadors and improve their presentation, communication and team-working skills. Pupils gained confidence in public speaking, developed their research skills, and learnt to work under pressure and to a deadline. Their task was to choose a topic and prepare a 5 minute long presentation which they had all morning to prepare for.
Pupils from the winning team stated “ During the day we developed our time management skills as preparing and rehearsing a presentation in 2 hours was a real challenge. We also feel we have improved our presentation skills even if it was nerve wracking. Overall it was a great experience which we will remember. We gained a deeper understanding of our topic on entrepreneurs whilst conducting the research but also learnt about the other topics during the presentations. We chose our topic, “Can anybody be a successful entrepreneur?” because we had studied entrepreneurs in our GCSE Business lessons and had previous knowledge of the subject.” EB, SG, AC & JS.
There was no prior preparation required as the topics for the presentation were only announced in the morning on the actual day. The pupils could choose from a broad range of business topics such as: the casual dining crunch; digitalisation and the future of the business; advertising and social media marketing; Does being an ethical business guarantee success? or How will the new sugar tax, which came into force on the 6th of April affect businesses?
“While tackling very current problems, such as sugar tax, social media in Business and the meaning of entrepreneurship, the students have shown deep awareness of the relationship between social issues and industry. They all delivered great presentations, did not get carried away by stage fright, and applied a very professional approach to the task. Being so engaging, the presentations have proven that entrepreneurial education contributes to both the academic and the professional development of students in secondary schools”. Dr Hawkins, the Director of the Futures Centre
This academic year we were delighted to welcome fifteen teams from seven regional and local schools such as Marine academy, Mounts Bay Academy, Penrice Academy, Plymouth Studio School, Richard Lander School, St Joseph’s School and Wadebridge School.
The 1st Place went to a team from Wadebridge School, 2nd Place to a team from Penrice Academy and the 3rd Place to a team from Richard Lander School.
In the words of Mrs Andrea Boden, Curriculum Area Leader from Wadebridge School “I feel that students benefit tremendously from participating in this competition. They get the opportunity to challenge themselves in a professional environment away from the classroom. They also get to reinforce some of the learning that takes place during their GCSE Business Studies course. Most importantly, they learn essential life skills in terms of working to deadlines and teamwork as well as building their confidence by presenting to a large audience. What better way to practice your public speaking skills?
The judging panel (Dr Marta Hawkins – The director of the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre; Dr Andreas Walmsley – Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship; Gareth Hart – Social Entrepreneur, and Julian True – Widening Participation Specialist from Student Recruitment & Admissions) had a very hard job to choose the winning teams as all of the presentation were great and pupils presented with such enthusiasm.
“Speaking in front of a large audience is something that is daunting so students should be congratulated on delivering professional and informative presentations. It was clear a great deal of effort had gone into researching their topics. We enjoyed the event tremendously and look forward to the next one.” Andreas Walmsley.
“I was hugely impressed by all the young people who presented at the schools event. They showed clear understanding of the brief, good research and analysis and great answers to some tough questions. I urge more schools to get involved. Developing communication, presenting, leadership and teamwork skills is critical for future education and employment prospects. It is not easy to present to a large audience of peers, professionals and other schools so well done to all involved.” Gareth Hart
I would like to congratulate all the teams and the student ambassadors on their hard work, excellent preparation and the delivery of their presentations; all teachers for their dedication and support; and all the panellists for their time and commitment.
I am truly looking forward to the next competition.