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Belfast Council

This pitch took place in the Glandore offices in Belfast, and if you haven't been, they're gorgeous! They have a meeting/events area which goes out onto an outdoor space with a retractable roof. As a designer, I'm in love with their interior!

Anyway, back to the event; Pitch to Pros was organised by the Belfast City Council and hosted by Sarah Travers. I hadn't pitched in a couple of months, and this event coincided with my Santander final, so it was great to practise regardless of the result. I especially enjoyed the event as it was the first time my mum met Nancy, my mentor and No.1 supporter. It was also the first time my brother and mum were seeing me pitch. I felt emotional starting my pitch as my first slide was of mum and me when I was young, before the stroke.

The evening went very smoothly, all the other pitches were fantastic, and it was so inspiring to meet all the other entrepreneurs. My favourite part of the night was when the judges were deliberating, and my mum was fangirling over Sarah Travers and her week was made when she got a photo (sorry for telling mum!).

Backstory; Sarah Travers is a very successful journalist from Northern Ireland who worked her way up to the BBC Newsline's flagship 6.30pm programme and then crossed over to work as a news anchor for UTV. She then left the BBC to start her own company with Camilla Long called Bespoke Communications in which they offer media training, presentation skills, conference & event host. Sarah is very well known, connected and respected across Northern Ireland, so in fairness, my mum's reaction was acceptable.

When the judges came back, I was over the moon to find out that I won second place prize; A year of working space at Innovate Belfast. The award was even better as I got to meet up with Majella from Innovate Belfast who has been so helpful and supportive since the competition!

One thing I learnt from this experience and would recommend is someone taping you pitching. My brother recorded me without me knowing, and I'm so grateful he did. I had a perception in my mind of how I looked when I pitched when I messed up my pitch I thought it was so obvious, that I didn't look confident etc. This video made me realise that when I messed up my presentation, you couldn't notice, and I seemed so confident, which in turn gave me such a confidence boost.

It also points out the habits I had developed in terms of moving a little bit too much, and my hands being a bit too dramatic at times. This video allowed me to improve the overall performance of my pitch which was a massive advantage in the pitches to come.