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How to use organizational leverage to make your pitch perfect

You usually hear pitching in a start-up environment, but pitching also happens inside of bigger companies when new projects are proposed.

This post gives you the strategy to get your pitch ready in the right way and build internal support at the same time.

Summary

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1. Build your pitch

2. Schedule as many internal pitching sessions as you can

3. Adjust in between every pitch

4. Record your own performance and do a game film review (pro tip)

5. How do you measure success?

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1. Build your pitch

Your company usually has a pitching structure. Build your first pitching using the old tried formula. If you start by going too creative right off the bat, you will lose your audience. In corporation, change is gradual. Roll with the punches and start with what they have.

Go big on pictures, but use supportive text most of the time with the pictures. Just pictures is supposed to be the best, but they have to be exactly the right thing for people to understand. Using stock photos are great, but they are rarely showing exactly what is being said. Use big letter text to support what you say. For example "200 USD per day" in font 90.

Spice the pitch up with some good ideas from the web to supplement the internal pitch structure. Phillips and Beckett have great ideas. I would still keep their impact on the lower end. Let your pitch follow the normal pitching structure at least to 80% as you go in to the first test session.

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2. Schedule as many internal pitching sessions as you can

This is where you leverage the company. You don't have full support for your idea yet, but that's why the pitch is such a great tool. Ask for anyone with a stake in the idea to critique your pitch. Also ask for experts that can have good insights into parts of your idea to listen.

Schedule several events. Ideally you have two people listening to your pitch per meeting and giving feedback.

As for reference, I recently had seven internal pitching events, including one dress rehearsal. In the dress rehearsal, most of the same people from the previous events came to listen and could hear the improvements.

Having them come back and listen again had a great impact on their support for the idea.


Why is this emphasis on pitching in front of an audience of stakeholders and experts before the "real" pitching event so important?

  • You get to practice
  • You get input from different parts of the organization, improving your pitch
  • Other people feel heard when giving feedback, building support for your idea
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3. Adjust in between every pitch

You will get a ton of feedback from your internal sessions. Use it to perfect your pitch. I thought I was so talented I could make some small adjustments from my original.

But I had to completely re-make the pitch three times and make clearly noticeable changes in between every one of the seven sessions.

In the end, my presentation kicked ass. Yours will too, when you are getting feedback from so many different people and given some time in between each one to adjust it.


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4. Record your own performance and do a game film review (pro tip)

Just like any professional speaker or athlete, you record your own work and look at it. You will notice things that you can't from trying to remember what you did.

This means going the extra mile and I can promise you the audience will notice.


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5. How do you measure success?

The majority of the feedback you get when pitching will feel negative. When do you know you are on the right track?

The key is to deliver the message to the recipient with clarity and end up with a willingness to support your endeavour.

Always have that in mind, and you will know when you are going the right direction.

If you end up changing hearts and minds better and better with every iteration of your pitch, you are succeeding.


Hope you have enjoyed this guide! If you want to get feedback on your pitch, send me a message here on LinkedIn. Two other great pitch coaches are Walid and Tarek - they will love it if you ask them as well.


If you want to get support in your personal growth, look at dreamtribe.io. It's a support environment for ambitious people organized in smaller groups to help you reach your goals.


(This is a part of an article series about my work at VTT with commercializing this machine: https://youtu.be/zrPvfqRw034)

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