MARK LAUFERT, QUEENS’S UNIVERSITY, BBICC 2018 WINNER
What is your most memorable moment from BBICC 2018?
-It’s difficult for me to pick just one moment as the highlight of the BBICC 2018; the whole week was incredibly well-organized and memorable. So I’ll pick two.
The first memorable moment was hearing Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Serbia, speak to all delegates about the value of participating in BBICC before the start of the competition. Her pres-ence at the event and her praise for BBICC foreshadowed the great cultural, competitive and social experiences that I and all of the other delegates would have at the competition over the next week. From that moment, it was clear to me that BBICC would be a world-class event.
The second memorable moment was not part of the formal BBICC schedule. When my teammate Andrew and I arrived in Belgrade, we discovered that our airline had lost our luggage and were told that it would arrive the next day. Sadly, the luggage did not arrive the next day, but our wonderful team host Katarina Petruševski was able to get Andrew and I to a wedding store to rent identical suits for the competition, a mall to buy shoes and then another store for shirts and ties all without causing us to miss any events. I will certainly never forget the funny looks Andrew and I sometimes received after wearing identical outfits at almost every formal event of the competition!
How do you prepare to present your solution to the jury? Do you have any advice when it comes to this?
-I’d be happy to share some advice. Despite having given many presentations in school and at case competitions before, I was still nervous before presenting on-stage in the BBICC finals. Fortunately, I was able to make use of a couple of mental tricks I’d learned previously to ease my nerves before presenting.
The physical signs of nervous-ness are quite similar to the physical symptoms of excitement. An elevated heart rate, butterflies in the stomach and jitters often happen in both situations. The first mental trick I recommend is to tell yourself that your body feels the way that it does because you are excited to share your ideas, not because you are nervous. This strategy may sound like it is too simple to work, but I have found it to be very effective at helping me relax before important presentations.
My second piece of advice is to remind yourself to focus on the only things that are fully under your control in the presentation: what you say and how you say it. Everything else is at least partially outside your control: the opinions of the judges, the audience’s reaction, the behaviour of your teammates and so forth. I find it liberating when I recall that all I have to do on stage is share my team’s ideas in a clear, engaging way!
Can you share with us what was your favourite food/drink that you tried during your stay in Serbia?
-This one is easy: Rakija.