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August 13, 2009 / Boris Mann

On pitching

The last post was called Pitch-tember. We get “pitches” all the time. People tell us their idea, where they are with their business, and we try and give them feedback. A lot of the time we get stuck in the weeds because people feel the need to somehow make their pitch “fancier” in some way. It’s much better if you can just tell us what the problem is, and even better – how you decided to pick this problem, what it means to you, and how your solution is different / unique.

Rick Segal suggests the Stop Watch Test as a way to tune your “live” pitching when you meet people (VC or otherwise):

On the idea/business front, I’ve been giving people the 60 second stop watch test.  I simply say, okay, step one, let’s see if you can, in 60 seconds, tell me what you do and why.  Currently, I’m running about a 35% success rate which is, in a weird way, a good thing because we can then spend 39 minutes working on a bit of fine tuning. Makes for a true no harm, no foul session.

P.S. I’ve typically told people, what’s the problem, how do you solve it, where’s the money, as being the three things that are core to any ‘pitch’ or idea looking for funding.  What you are doing and why in sixty seconds is the same things.

Dave McClure uses lots of fonts and big giant YOU FAIL in red to make his point in trying to make less of the pitches he hears not “completely suck balls” – Your SOLUTION is Not My PROBLEM:

remember folks: pitch the PROBLEM first, connect with your audience emotionally around the problem, and then — and ONLY then — offer your solution as the remedy to that problem.

Got more pitch articles, tips, or presentations to share? I’d love to add some more links to our Resources & Templates section.

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One Comment

  1. Evelyne / Jun 15 2011 6:33 am

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