To the Initiated Taylor’s College Students

Thanks for the engaging session today! I can tell you, I really enjoyed the conversations we shared, and hope to continue our exploration here.

Any constructive feedback for me? This is the first time I’ve ever been paid to speak. Did you learn something you can use to win the Taylor’s Business School Business Plan Competition (and the RM3,000 cash)?!

As promised, you can click here for the list of relevant links.

And read on for a summary of the seminar. Please leave comments and questions! Or, you can email your abuse to Samuel. haha


Good morning!

In this competition, you have access to enough knowledge and information.

Your competitors have enough knowledge and information, too. Quite likely, your judges will not be able to take all of it in.

How to get across to the judges? We have a secret which helped us win this format of competition. It could help you win, too.

What is it?

Tony Robbins studied of human behavior for more than 29 years throughout his career as a motivator. He tells us, that humans are emotionally driven creatures, who rationalize things with logic, later. Click here to see his video presentation.

Matthew Gladwell, author or The Tipping Point, in his latest book, Blink, presents research which reveals how humans make “snap judgments”, relying on subjective means to make decisions, even when they ought to be objective. Click here for a summary of the book.

Ok ok so what’s the big secret?

Having a great business plan, and presenting well will increase your chances of winning for sure. That is NOT the secret.

Evoke emotions in your judges, engaging them on an emotional level… Call it the “X Factor” or “Bribery” or whatever.
You’ll have more than “a winning chance”… We attribute this EMOTIONAL FOCUS as the #1 reason we beat 1,700 of our regional competitors, and managed to capture the hearts of our judges.

How did we do this?

We’ve identified 5 keys you can take action on, right now.

1. You must have a killer introduction.

Your introduction can be as long as you need it to be. Why? Winners give the “This group sure win one” Effect. If you give them a REASON to root for you as winners, your job is much easier.

• Does it make the judges thirsty? Dying to hear the full story?
• Does it give them a WOW effect, unexpectedly impressing them?
• Does it give them the impression you have structure and clarity?

2. You must stage a show.

Your entire presentation should be staged like a “show”. Why? Engaging and entertaining them will leave positive emotions they will remember, and react to accordingly.

• Do you make use of the stage?
• Are your emotions obvious?
• Does your show entertain?
• Do you have a full script?

3. You must have a full script

With every point, word, transition between points, emotion, movement, gesture…. Just like a drama. And FAQ script, too. Why? Presenting your plan alone won’t win. Presenting emotions will. The script preparation will help you visualize, build confidence, and remember it better, all of which help you execute a smoother presentation.

Prepare your full script, writing down

• Every point (idea)
• Every word spoken which elaborates that point
• Every transition between points
• Every emotion, movement, gesture

Start your script preparation with

• Skeleton structure
• Branch out into chunks of ideas
• Each idea with its own heading
• Less is more: remove words which aren’t relevant to the headings
• Practice your script and “show” with a webcam
• Practice your “show” without the script

Prepare your FAQ script with

• How to ask for more questions?
• How to accept a question?
• How to probe a question?
• How to address a question politely?
• How to end your answer?

4. You must have a story they want to believe

Present more than a business plan. Present a story you truly believe in. The judges are not fools. Give them a story they can visualize and believe, because they won’t remember your facts and figures.

Ensure these parts of your story are especially believable

• Financial assumptions
• Financial projections
• Proof of concept
• Market demand
• Sources of revenue

Do this to increase how believable your story is

• Call uncertain revenue streams “growth opportunities”
• Focus on financial assumptions before the figures
• Exit strategy gives the story a good ending
• Ride on proven stories (models)
• Include “testimonials” from big shots

5. You must have winning work habits

Realistically, you may not be able to take action on all the points. And you don’t need to. All you need is to know is what to do, and do it right: Your work habits determine how much actually gets done, and how effective it is.

Small steps to winning work ethics, and working smart

• Question every advice, don’t accept things without being asking why and how
• Question every “rule” – there are many false assumptions
• When you want to get something done, look for an efficient process first
• Don’t compromise with your team mates – debate!
• Encourage each other to bug each other to work!


Do what you think is right, and focus on evoking emotions, and let me know how it goes!

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