In the previous course we’ve discussed ‘The Research Canvas’ where the goal is to collect as much feedback as possible from a very diverse audience as this is the most efficient way to identify opportunities for the application of your research. Once you have identified your idea, it is important to communicate your idea in a clear way to people with many different backgrounds.This course will give some pointers on how to communicate your idea or project to a potentially interested audience in an effective and efficient way.
A common format to do so is by means of a pitch. A pitch or elevator pitchis a short speech used to quickly and simply define your product, service or organization and its value proposition. The name "elevator pitch" reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver your speech in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes. The term itself comes from a scenario of an accidental meeting with someone important in the elevator whose attention you could grab just until the doors of the elevator open again and the person walks out again. If the conversation inside the elevator in those few seconds is interesting and value adding enough, the conversation will continue after the elevator ride or end in exchange of business card or a scheduled meeting.Depending on the goal of the pitch, it should give a structured overview of an idea, product, service, project, person or other solution and is designed to just get a conversation started.
Guy Kawasaki is a seasoned investor, business advisor, author and speaker from Silicon Valley. He was one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing the Macintosh in 1984 and author of the book “The art of the start”. With his quote “For an entrepreneur, life’s a pitch” Guy denotes that entrepreneurs are in a constant search for the attention of others in order to help their venture succeed. The tool to get this attention and interest is usually a pitch. Depending on the people you talk to and what you want to get from them, the pitch will have a different structure. For instance,In case you want to get the interest from investors, you probably will focus on your business model, team and potential financial returnsIn case you are pitching a future customer, you will focus on how your solution fixes their problemsIn case you are pitching a potential partner or supplier, you will focus on how you will create a win-win when doing business with each other.In case you want to convince a future co-founder or employee to join your company, you will stress the importance of the purpose, the value proposition and future opportunities of your companyEtc.In any case, always end with an “ask”, or “what do you need from them?”, “Why are you pitching to them?”.
A good elevator pitch consists of 2 elements: 1. the pain statement (or which problem do you solve for your customer segments) and 2. the value proposition, which value do you offer them. You can find both elements in the value proposition canvas.Some key characteristics you should take into account when drafting your pitch, It should be: Succinct, meaning a clear, precise expression in few wordsGreed-inducing: make it so attractive that people want to know more about itLow in tech talk so everyone can understand it. Don’t assume people know the context of the story behind your idea or projectAnd Irrefutable, meaning make sure that what you say is correct and people believe it isDrafting such a pitch takes a lot of time and practice. To quote Blaise Pascal: "I am sorry I have had to write you such a long letter, but I did not have time to write you a short one”
As stated previously, the structure of your pitch will be different depending on it purpose and who you are pitching to. Generally, the format as shown on the slide works very well.Start with getting the attention of the audience, hook them into your story. If you make it personal, based on your own experiences, it generally works pretty well. Sketch some context, draw the audience in your world. Don’t assume that they have the same background as you have. You have been working on the idea for weeks, months or years, your audience got to know you a couple of second ago. Also introduce yourself and your team. Show your audience why you are the expert on this matter, why should they listen to you, what gives you authority to speak about this topic? Studies have shown that humans categorize others in less than 150 milliseconds, with lasting judgments within 30 minutes, so make sure you get this first part right.Next you discuss your value-proposition according to the NABC model. We’ll discuss this in the following slide.Lastly, end with asking a question, what do you need or what are you looking for? Do you need money to fund you project? Do you need people with specific skills to join your team? Do you need technology to include in your project? Do you want customers to try out your solution or do you just need feedback on your idea?
The NABC model is a very simple approach that works quite well in communicating about your value proposition in a concise way. The model efficiently Answers Four Fundamental Questions:Need:What are our client's needs? What problem do we solve? A need should relate to an important and specific client or market opportunity, with market size and end customers clearly stated. Need level: Vitamin (nice to have), Aspirin (worth paying for), Antibiotics (critical). Work on what’s important, not just what’s interesting-there’s an infinite supply of both.Approach: What is our compelling solution and unique advantage to the specific client need?You can draw it, simulate it or make a mockup to help convey your vision. As the approach develops through iterations, it becomes a full proposal or business plan, which can include market positioning, cost, staffing, partnering, deliverables, a timetable and intellectual property (IP) protection. Benefits:What are the client benefits of our approach? Why must we win?Each approach to a client need results in unique client benefits, such as low cost, high performance or quick response. (better, faster, cheaper). Success requires that the benefits be quantitative and substantially better - not just different.Competition or alternatives: Why are our benefits significantly better than the competition or available alternatives?Everyone has alternatives. We must be able to tell our client or partner why our solution represents the best value. To do this, we must clearly understand our competition and our client's alternatives. Our answer should be short and memorable.
<Show Carambla video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrskUlKwvG8>Potential AnswerNeed: It is time-consuming and frustrating for people to find available parking spaces in the city centreApproach: Smartphone application to rent private parking spaces from individuals, small businesses and companies in the city centreBenefit: Solve parking problem by offering fast, easy and secure access to exclusive parking spaceCompetition: Potential alternatives are public and private city parking lots, road parking spot, public transport, etc.
Let us give some tips & tricks in order to improve your pitchMake sure you focus on important client needsand solve problems that matter where customers must have a solution forTake pen and paper and write down the entire story of your pitch. By doing so, you really focus on the flow of the presentationPractice, practice, practice. Your pitch will be fluid andspontaneous, only if you practice enough… In general, a good first impressions depends 55% on your appearance and Body Language, 38% on your Voice and Attitude, and only 7% on the contentTry to limit text as much as possible and use pictures, simulations and visuals. Tell the story rather than allowing your audience to read your storyProtect any IP but share the idea. If there is anything which is confidential for instance due to a running patent application, by all means keep it confidential, but try to share as much about the idea as possible.If you don’t share anything, you won’t collect any feedback. If you don’t get any feedback, your project is only your vision on reality. Studies show that 66% of successful start-ups drastically change their original plansBe Quantitative not qualitative, if you have numbers show them!
Let’s show some examples of how you can make your pitch more quantitative:NeedDon’t state “The market is growing fast”Rather: “Our market segment is €2M per year and growing at 20% per year”Approach Not: We have a clever designRather: We created a 1-step process that replaces the current 2-step processBenefits Not: The ROI is excellent Rather: expect a ROI of 50% per year with a profit of €3m in year 3Competition Not: We are better than our competitors Rather: Our competitor is Evergreen Corporation, which uses the current 2-step process. We own the IP for our new process
This completes our walkthrough of ‘getting your point across’. Now you have to apply this to your own idea and make your own elevator pitch.During the second day of the workshop we will discuss your pitch together with the other participants. We will work and rework it so that it becomes a very good pitch with our tips & tricks.Good luck!
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Getting your point across
Opportunity Recognition Workshop
The elevator pitch
Get your point across in the
time span of an elevator ride
Overview of an idea, product,
service, project, person or other
solution and is designed to just
get a conversation started
life’s a pitch!
A good elevator pitch
is made up of 2 elements
• The pain
• The value
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
Leonardo da Vinci
Every great elevator
pitch must be
• Low in tech talk
1. Gain attention & hook!
• Start with something catchy, a story
• Personal intro, what gives you authority to speak
• Introduce your team and idea
2. Your value proposition: NABC
3. What do you need (the “ask”)
• People, Skills, Money, Technology
of a Value
N Customer/Market Need
A Your unique Approach
B Client/Customer Benefits
C Alternative approaches
What is the NABC of Carambla for parking seekers?
Click on the sound button again to hear more
Tips & tricks
• Focus on important
• Write down the story
of your pitch
• Practice, practice, practice
• Use pictures, simulations
• Protect any IP
but share the idea
• Collect feedback
• Not: The market is growing fast
• Rather: Our market segment is €2M
per year and growing at 20% per year
• Not: We have a clever design
• Rather: We created a 1-step process
that replaces the current 2-step process
• Not: The ROI is excellent
• Rather: expect a ROI of 50%
per year with a profit of €3m in year 3
• Not: We are better than our competitors
• Rather: Our competitor is Evergreen
Corporation, which uses the current
2-step process. We own the IP for our