From pitch to presentation: quick how-to guide for Science Hack Day

Every hackathon *really* begins with Idea Pitches. If you already have a project idea for Science Hack Day Vilnius, you will have 2 minutes to pitch it at the opening of the event!

How to make a pitch? Here are the main pointers:

— keep it short (2 min max.)
— include your name and affiliation, if you like
— make a clear problem statement – what are you trying to make/solve?
— describe the proposed solution
— describe the skills/help needed

After idea pitches comes forming of teams. Important things to remember:

— no one expects you to know how everything works – that’s why we build teams in the first place! state clearly what kind of help you need the most, and don’t be shy
— explain to others why your idea is awesome, and why they should join *your* team
— try to have a diverse team, with diverse skills sets, e.g. programming, design, communication etc. (that will depend on your project idea)
— keep your team small and efficient – you will have to work fast & communicate efficiently in the next two days!

Next – the hacking:

— simplify your idea: less is more. it’s difficult to explore *all* the possible options that could stem from your basic idea. clearly define the main problem & stick with the simplest solution
— brainstorm a clear plan to transform your idea into a prototype in the next two days
— do your research. if you haven’t done so already, try to find out as much as you can about what’s out there and what could help you achieve your goal
— work smart & cut corners. no one expects you to have a fully functioning over-the-head website, app or device at the end of the hackathon – a prototype that demonstrates the idea and how it should work will suffice. it’s better to have a successful prototype, than a failed product!
— try to consult the mentors whenever possible – they are here to help & guide you, and may set you on the right track if you’re lost!
— the mentors will be introduced at the opening of the event – take a note of what each of their specialties are!

Final demos. The tips:

— present like the boss 😉 you know what your project is, and why it’s important. tell it!
— be confident. whatever challenges you were/are facing are just opportunities yet to be tackled!
— practice if you can – you can also try to get some eyes and ears from outside your team to provide perspective
— prepare slides and other materials if you like – but remember, live demos are much more engaging!

Most importantly:

Stay safe! If you are not sure how to operate a particular piece of machinery or equipment – DON’T 😉 find a mentor who will show you how!
And of course…
Be excellent to each other <3 33c3
Photo taken at 33c3, Technarium crew.