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On Pitching
A presentation made with ❤️ on my 📱
Your Mission:
Extract something of
value from your audience.
Money
Introductions
Promotion
Feedback
Your other mission...
Make your audience feel
good about helping you.
How?
• Craft a narrative that your audience can empathize
with.
• Your pain points are theirs too.
• Present your idea as ...
The anatomy of a pitch
• Narrative hook
• Present the problem
• Declare your solution
• Provide ancillary information as n...
Narrative Hook
• Never ever begin a pitch with "wouldn't it be great
if..."
• Start with a story that frames your idea in ...
Present the problem
• This can be done explicitly or implicitly in your pitch.
• Explicitly: "I want to solve the problem ...
Declare your solution
• Be Human Centered in your framing.
• Simplicity and straightforwardness will be rewarded
here as w...
Provide ancillary info
• This is context specific. (e.g. The information that is
relevant to a venture capitalist may not ...
Make your ask
• Be clear
• Remain mindful of the level of familiarity between
you and the person you're pitching. You can ...
Also, pitches come in
many shapes and sizes.
Consider preparing...
• 1-sentence explanation
• 30 second elevator pitch
• 5 minute pitch (covers most events)
• 20 minut...
Considering your audience
• How familiar are they with the problem space?
• Do you know them already?
• What / how much wi...
More resources
• Episode 1 of the "Startup" podcast from Gimlet
Media. Titled "How not to pitch a billionaire"
• Anything ...
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On Pitching

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I was asked by Edge, the undergraduate entrepreneurship club at the University of Chicago, to talk about pitching a startup (or really any project).

I took a very general approach, focusing on the "architecture" of a pitch, rather than getting into specifics of making effective Powerpoint presentations, etc, because my audience consisted primarily of students who were new to entrepreneurship.

Also, I was asked to do this on pretty short notice, so I created the slides on my phone. I know it's not the most visually impressive presentation ever made.

Published in: Business
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On Pitching

  1. 1. On Pitching A presentation made with ❤️ on my 📱
  2. 2. Your Mission: Extract something of value from your audience.
  3. 3. Money Introductions Promotion Feedback
  4. 4. Your other mission...
  5. 5. Make your audience feel good about helping you.
  6. 6. How? • Craft a narrative that your audience can empathize with. • Your pain points are theirs too. • Present your idea as the best plausible solution to the problem. • This all primes your audience to fulfill your request.
  7. 7. The anatomy of a pitch • Narrative hook • Present the problem • Declare your solution • Provide ancillary information as needed • Make your "Ask"
  8. 8. Narrative Hook • Never ever begin a pitch with "wouldn't it be great if..." • Start with a story that frames your idea in relatable terms. • Appeal to shared (ideally universal) experiences.
  9. 9. Present the problem • This can be done explicitly or implicitly in your pitch. • Explicitly: "I want to solve the problem of XYZ" or "I discovered that people have the following problem..." • Implicitly: find a way to introduce the problem without saying the word "problem". This is a riskier approach but can be effective. • Be extremely clear about the nature of the problem, and the scope of its effects.
  10. 10. Declare your solution • Be Human Centered in your framing. • Simplicity and straightforwardness will be rewarded here as well. (I know I sound like a broken record.) • Resist the urge to use buzzwords and jargon. Also, avoid lengthy technical descriptions.
  11. 11. Provide ancillary info • This is context specific. (e.g. The information that is relevant to a venture capitalist may not be relevant to a blogger.) • You may not need to include this info in the body of your pitch, but have it ready for Q&A.
  12. 12. Make your ask • Be clear • Remain mindful of the level of familiarity between you and the person you're pitching. You can be bolder with people who know you better. • Say thank you when you're done. • And, if you pitched a potentially valuable connection who took time out of their day to meet with you, write a thank you note. By hand.
  13. 13. Also, pitches come in many shapes and sizes.
  14. 14. Consider preparing... • 1-sentence explanation • 30 second elevator pitch • 5 minute pitch (covers most events) • 20 minute pitch (for investor meetings and keynotes, etc)
  15. 15. Considering your audience • How familiar are they with the problem space? • Do you know them already? • What / how much will you be asking of them? • All of these questions are important.
  16. 16. More resources • Episode 1 of the "Startup" podcast from Gimlet Media. Titled "How not to pitch a billionaire" • Anything from Guy Kawasaki on pitching or building pitch decks. Again, seriously valuable material. • David Rose's TED talk, "How to pitch a VC" • "Value Proposition Design" by Alexander Osterwalder. It'll help you frame the problem and solution portions of your pitch. Also a good read.

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