Fundraiser kickoffs are probably the most important opportunity schools have to motivate their students to make sales. If your students are interested in what takes place at your kickoff, they're more likely to go home and persuade their parents to help them sell. The more student enthusiasm you generate from the beginning, the more successful your sale’s going to be. Most parents who end up selling will do so because they were persuaded by their children.
Here are 3 ways to add credibility to your kickoff meeting which will lead to more students bringing in sales:
1. Create a Professional Kickoff Atmosphere
Have students listen to music as they walk into the kickoff area. This will help set an exciting tone for the assembly. The kickoff is about creating an inspiring atmosphere. It should be viewed as a well-planned out performance designed to convince your audience that your fundraiser is important and that they will want to get involved.
Have a good sound system that puts out good-quality sound throughout the entire room. If you want your students to get excited, make sure the music can be heard by everyone. There's nothing worse than listening to a cheap sounding stereo. You’d be better off not having any music at all. Therefore, take the time to hook up a good sound system with good speakers that everyone will be able to hear. Keep in mind, the students are also going to get loud, so keep the music volume above the noise. However, make sure you determine a volume that will be appropriate for everyone involved.
Arrange ahead of time for someone to gradually fade out the volume once you're ready to get started with the actual presentation. Don’t just turn off the music all at once. This sounds unprofessional. Likewise, once the presentation is over, have the person slowly turn up the volume so the music is loud again as the students are walking out. In other words, the music should help get the students excited but at the same time let them know when it’s time to listen to the speaker.
Also, if you'll be showing a kickoff video, make sure you show it on a big screen as opposed to a TV set. This may also require a laptop that can hook into your sound system.
2. Test Your Presentation Equipment Beforehand
When someone films a commercial they don’t just shoot it live and expect everything to go perfectly. There are several takes and edits that happen before the end viewer sees the finished product. Unfortunately, you won’t have the luxury of retakes with your kickoff so you’re going to have to do it right the first time.
If you'll be showing a video, make sure you run it through at least once. Test your music and microphone to make sure they're working properly. This may take a little time so don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. You can eliminate a lot of embarrassing mishaps by making sure your equipment is working properly before your students show up. Remember, you're putting on a show for your students so do your best to make sure it goes off without a hitch. As the saying goes, you only have one shot at making a good first impression.
3. Get the Principal Involved with your Fundraiser
Don’t make the mistake that many schools make. What often happens is the person in charge of the fundraiser simply walks up and starts talking to the students. If you're going to be the keynote speaker at your kickoff, take the time to find someone to introduce you. This is where the principal comes in. If they care as much as you do about your school raising money, they should be willing to help.
By having your principal introduce you, you are conveying to your students that your sale is important. Students usually respect what they have to say and if they are stressing the importance of involvement, your students will be more apt to take it seriously. This should help set a powerful tone for the start of your sale.
How would you add credibility to a school kickoff presentation?