How many presenters per session?
We allow three presenters at each House of Genius session. These are handpicked from a wealth of applicants based on their ability to meet the standards more fully outlined below, as well as an interest in diversity of topics.
Who is an ideal presenter for House of Genius?
Ideally, we prefer someone in a decision making role within a company that is currently conducting business, be it start-up or mature. For a start-up, that is the founder or CEO as the presenter. He or she must have the ability to explain the business and the issues as well as the ability to make choices and catalyze change.
The presenter must be prepared to talk openly and in summary of your company and the business challenge he or she is raising to and with the group. In addition, we like people who are truly interested and vested in what the “Genius” group has to say. In other words, you need to be ready to listen. If you already have all the answers and can’t benefit from input from a wonderful, diverse set of minds, then you are not the right kind of presenter for this format.
What does a presenter do?
We ask each presenter to prepare an approximately five-slide deck outlining the business as well as an important problem/challenge/opportunity the business is facing which should be contained on your last slide. Each presenter gets five minutes to deliver this presentation.
Next the attendees ask quick, clarifying questions. Then each attendee is offered a chance to give input, ask a question, raise a concern, offer suggestions, or recommend a resource to assist the presenter and perhaps an introduction to same. This is the time for the presenter to listen and not respond or react. It’s a great chance to sit back and hear from people who are completely new to your business, your challenge, and you.
After one round of feedback, and only then, the presenter has a chance to respond (not defensively, but thoughtfully). Then a few more questions/comments/back-and-forth, and we’re on to the next presenter.
Worth remembering that the presenters have NO IDEA who is in that room before the event or even at the event (aside from first names). This makes things very interesting.
What do I need to be prepared for that evening?
When you are not the current presenter, you become an attendee for the other presentations. Be prepared for that and for being wide-open to receive feedback from people in all different industry sectors and specializations. We ask for input from everyone, even if the topic is outside your core area of expertise. This cross-disciplinary discussion is part of what creates “Genius.”
What does it mean to have a key problem/challenge/opportunity?
This is important. Sometimes we say this and people look down at their shoes. We aren’t asking people to come in and share all the secrets of their business; we’re simply making the night interesting by giving presenters who are truly facing a big question a great, supportive audience to hear and respond to it. It might be a marketing challenge, a distribution channel opportunity, questions about capital needs at a certain stage in your company’s trajectory, legal questions, or a brand decision. It can be anything. It must be a genuine issue, not too granular to narrow the discussion, and not too broad to be something we can grab onto and grapple with that night.
Will I get in if I register?
If you meet these criteria, eventually you will be invited to present. We are oversubscribed in some of our cities, as it’s a privilege to get this kind of feedback from such a wonderful mix of business people. Take the application seriously. Applicants who meet the criteria are generally invited to present within 2 to 3 months.
Is there any cost to present?
No. House of Genius makes these opportunities available at no cost to presenters or attendees. To learn more about how we can do this, take a look at the House of Genius Sponsors.
Will I have a chance to have the feedback I get documented?
Yes. The entire session and all feedback will be documented and sent to all attendees and presenters within one week of the event.
Will I be able to follow up with attendees?
Yes. Of course. In addition to your own networking after the introductions at the end of the event, you’ll receive a list of all attendees and contact information.