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Perfect pitches swing awards

All the judges were impressed with the well-developed business proposals pitched by the sub-degree finalist teams and the innovative elements incorporated into their presentations.

"There was a lot of interactivity among the presenters, such as the use of role play. They have successfully captured the attention of the audience," said Raymond Ng, the senior manager of audit at KPMG.

While all finalist teams in the sub-degree category pulled off strong performances, the team from Hong Kong College of Technology clinched victory with their relatively more practicable business proposal.

Judge Roy Tsang said the champion team set itself apart from the other finalists because its proposal for a Chinese medicinal herbal spa catering for the elderly was a realistic and sustainable business model. "The idea is creative because there are few, if any, such spas specifically targeting the elderly in Hong Kong," said Tsang, chairman of ACCA Hong Kong.

Ng echoed Tsang's view. "The team cleverly marketed its herbal spa for the elderly as the first such establishment in the city. Its presentation was well structured. The use of props to clearly show the structure of their proposed operation indicated the extra effort the team members have made."

The champion team, consisting of Leung Nga-lee, Au Ming-hoi, Chung Yik-nam, and Cheung Tsz-chun, all year-three students of the Higher Diploma in Professional Accounting programme, also bagged the honours for "Best Team Spirit" and "My Favourite Team". Leung was also named "Best Presenter".

Howard Ling, of the HKCSS-HSBC Social Enterprise Business Centre (SEBC), commended the champion team's effort in surveying its target customers. "They did a good presentation of their survey findings. The props helped grab the audience attention and showed the team has gone the extra mile," he noted.

Team members showed superb collaboration, said Lillian Li, co-founder of Silence Association. "The idea of using a question-and-answer format to provide details is innovative and shows interactivity."

"Best Presenter" Leung Nga-lee appeared calm and confident and delivered a well-paced presentation, Tsang said. "She co-operated with her team members so well, which contributed to the great team spirit."

Ng thought Leung presented her part with high clarity. "She communicated well with the audience by maintaining constant eye contact."

Li was impressed with Leung's good body language. "She also willingly played a supporting role in the Q & A session and provided additional information to supplement other members' answers."

Leung attributed her team's victory to the efforts of teachers who coached them. "Because we are all year-three students, our study workload has been heavy. Our teachers have given us extra help with our study so that we could focus a lot of our energy and time on the preparation for the contest," she said.

Her teammate Chung also gave credit to the teachers. "They polished our presentation techniques and gave great advice on the intonation and ways to stay calm on stage. They helped ease the pressure we put on ourselves by advising us to focus on the learning process [instead of winning]."

Fellow student Au said the four members had been classmates since year one and they often studied and played together. "So rapport [among friends] has been fostered and the team spirit during the competition just came naturally," he said.

Team member Cheung said he had enjoyed the role play segment the most. "We added this so that our presentation would bring some laughter to the audience."

On being named "Best Presenter", Leung said: "To build self-confidence, I have memorised my parts and rehearsed repeatedly as part of the preparation. As the one who opened the presentation, I knew I had to do well to give it a good start."