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In co-creating the IMEX Event Technology Startup competition (#IMEXpitch) with the Event Manager Blog we have started thinking about the elements that make a pitch memorable.
Our event is not new, startup pitches are commonplace in the tech world and we have certainly adapted elements of what we’ve seen at other events.
In our case we have a 2 minute live pitch in front of a live audience including a jury of five experts who will select the winner on the spot based on the pitch. This is a high pressure scenario where the focus should be on succinctly explaining the qualities of the product.
Unlike other pitches the startups are not pitching for funding, they are introducing the product to a new audience and convincing them that their product deserves an award and a chance to market itself in the increasingly competitive #eventtech sector. Here are 10 points worth considering:
1. Start With the Basics:
Explain what the product does in a clear and succinct way. This is not as easy as it sounds, but is a crucial element to any product’s commercial success.
2. Make it Memorable (For the Right Reasons):
We have seen songs, poems, role playing, props and other great ways to stand out. But we’ve also seen “canned” videos (rather than an actual live communication), stuttering, forgotten lines, responding to heckling and other situations where pitches fall apart very quickly.
3. Two Minutes is Two Minutes:
There is no way around this, we know it’s really short and it does not allow you to go into details. The best way to use this precious time is to practice your pitch so that it fits comfortably in the time allocated. This means you are prepared and have taken this limitation into account. It also means that when the two minute buzzer sounds it won’t interrupt your pitch.
4. Fatigue Sets in Quickly For the Judges:
The pitch process is very exciting, but also quite tiring. After listening to 10 pitches over 20 minutes (plus the changeover time) the audience and the judges are tired and will rely on their notes to select the winner. This is a very strong reason to be memorable.
5. Do not Say Check our Website for More Details:
The jury may already be familiar with your product, but there is a good chance they are not. There is just no time for more details. Deliver a great pitch and everyone will want to head over to your website right away. Don’t make it so that they have to go to your website in order to understand your product.
6. Be Relatable:
Tell your story, from a user’s perspective if possible. Where did the concept come from? Was there an “a-ha” moment? How is this going to make my life easier? A good story makes the audience relate to you and wins over hearts and minds.
7. What are You Solving?
This point is one of the criteria for the competition, so make sure you address it. Unless you are creating something totally new, it is likely that the product sets out to solve a problem or current issue. Make sure you explain what problem is or was and how your product solves it.
8. Read the Brief:
Read it over and over again. The judges will rate you on the ability to answer the brief. Even if you don’t think you score high in a category, make sure you tick it off. For example, your product may not offer something totally new, but make sure you acknowledge that you have competitors and tell us about any advantages your product may have. This shows that you are aware of the criteria, you have analysed the market and that you believe in your unique selling points.
9. Perform for Audience:
It’s pitch time, not company strategy time and it always pays to do your research. Who are the judges? What background do they have? Would they use your product? What sector of the industry are they most active in? Research the event as well. Make sure you know who will be in the audience even if they are not the judges. Take all this into account as your prepare your pitch. There is no point in creating a great pitch for the wrong audience.
10. The Pitch is Just the Beginning:
Two minutes may go by very fast, but the pitch may entice an audience to be your clients, find investors amongst the crowd or just spark up great conversations. Pitching is in itself a great story and you can use it to get press coverage and more attention on your product. Don’t forget to leverage this opportunity.
Creating the perfect two minute pitch is definitely a challenge, but hopefully with the help of these tips it’s a challenge you can rise to! We hope they are useful preparation when preparing for your next pitch.
IMEX and Event Manager Blog Start Up Competition - #IMEXpitch
If you are at IMEX 2015 please do come along to support the 10 startups pitching to the judges and see how they do! The competition will take place in a public head to head session on Tuesday 19th May, between 16.30 and 17.30 in Sydney Room 1, Inspiration Hub, Stand G680.
This is a guest post by Miguel Neves. He is the Senior Online Community Manager at the IMEX Group. Follow Miguel on Twitter @IMEXMiguel