Hipmunk at LAUNCH

Like Alexis said, we took home best design for LAUNCH 2.0 yesterday. Thanks a lot to the judges and organizers. The show was a great time and the recognition is an honor.

Couldn’t join us in San Francisco this week? No problem! Check out this video of the Hipmunk for iPhone demo (@3m39s).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxvm9tidBsk#t=3m39s]

When I first tried it out, my pitch was pretty rough. Luckily, Hipmunk co-founder and International Man of Debate Team Nerdery Adam Goldstein was there with some sharp coaching. I share his wisdom with you now.

Slow down. Take your time while speaking. Especially with LAUNCH’s time limit of 5 minutes, it’s tempting to blaze through all the things you want to say. This sucks for the audience and it sucks for you as a speaker. You can’t think when your mouth is machine gunning that many words, and the audience can’t understand you anyway. If you feel you’re speaking slowly, you’re probably doing it just right.

Speak informally but not uncertainly. During my early introductions, everything I was saying seemed to finish with a question mark, my inflection rising toward the end of each sentence. Awful! You can be friendly and confident at the same time. In my case, that meant planting a firm end at the end of each sentence. Drop the facts on the table, do it cheerfully, and again, take your time.

Practice. A lot. Once you’ve managed to get the words out of your mouth in a way that you like, keep doing it until you could give the talk in your sleep. Adam said at least ten times was a good number and he was right. Without the burden of worrying about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it, you’re free to get out there and enjoy engaging with people.

Aside from the talk, it was great to meet so many friends of the Hipmunk! Thanks for coming by our table to hang out, grab luggage tags and learn more about us and the new iPhone app. An extra special thank you to those who sang and danced their hearts out for a t-shirt. If we’re all really lucky, maybe we’ll see video soon.

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