Some key additional pitching hints

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A few general hints on pitching (whatever are you going to pitch/communicate), useful for anyone, as emerging from today’s session. Thanks for the very high quality of your presentations and for your effort.

-beforehand, tell who you are and, briefly, how did you come with the idea.;

product (or service) is king: don’t grasp on details if you don’t show it enough through the use of photos and other illustration;

mission is how to win the battle, vision is about winning the war: they cannot look like each other and/or looking like program. They should represent an inspiring and memorable ideal (try to reading it to your audience while you are testing your presentation: now move to the next slide and try to ask if they remember it. If at least 50% pf people does, you probably did a rather good job;

Canvas is not a concept-fastfood, but instead a place for gourmet, interested in tasting good ideas: therefore you shouldn’t write either too few or too much words, but just the necessary to let people understand and make the right connections …and, by the way, very good if you do it with the help of graphics;

Customer segments: try to describe in a profile what makes that segment homogeneous …if you write down a profile of each category with 80 to 120 words, is perfect. And you may soon realize that a described segment is very often made of slightly different sub-categories…;

Revenues streams: that’s definitely not a secondary subject…try always to be specific on this subject…your potential investors will be happy with it!!!;

Partners, suppliers, or (even) customers? Especially when business model is sketchy it may happen one of the following things: 1. The role of a supplier is underestimated: is not simple to replace, the quality of your stuff is literally depending on it…maybe we are talking about a partner? 2. At the very beginning, there is no way to pay for the purchased service: that supplier MUST be involved as a partner, sharing (if possible) its future success/revenues 3. Sure that what you are indicating as a partner is not instead the real customer of your service? If it controls the necessary facilities, the business relationship and maybe some distribution channel…maybe you should change your mind…;

pitching 2

-always indicate at least 3 possible competitors, and instead 3 companies belonging to your business area that you consider very different from your model and/or having a somehow “old-fashioned” model comparing to yours. That would help you to reaffirm your identity and competitive advantage, and your public understanding clearly what makes you special and different;

Take time for your conclusions: try to give at least try key takeaways to your public, possibly as memorable as your vision.

-…and by the way…is there a possibility for shortening time to market and giving a try for an MVP? I know, easier if you are planning to sell a software, less feasible if your goal is opening a restaurant…but anyway always try to assess the feasibility of this point…

Vision is about Red and Blue

vision words verbs

A good vision is blue and red

Nothing is probably more difficult to address than writing a good vision.

There are endless ways to accomplish the task: when it comes to explain what an effective and inspiring vision can be and represent, everybody has is his own theory.

In the end, there are some points in common between the various approaches:

-it has to be short (between 1 and 20/30 words, somebody says no more than 7)

-it has to be original

-it has to be clear

-it can be the basis for communicating company’s goals internally and externally

If you look at the vision statements standing on line and you analyse the most commonly used words in those texts you can reach some certain conclusion:

A) Mission is about words, that define either one of more of the following 4 areas:

  1. a scenario,
  2. a target
  3. a competitive advantage
  4. a stakeholder

In facts the most widespread words are related to concepts like: service, customers, quality, growth, environment, leadership, champion, value, being the best, profit, future, employees.

4 words categories


B) Mission is about verbs, that define either a process or an action related to some or all of the following 9 categories:

  1. time (accelerate, advance, end, start)
  2. growth (boost, enhance, broaden, enlarge, develop, exceed, grow, increase, extend, expand, enrich)
  3. challenge and fight (defend, preserve, defy, dominate, eliminate, engage, maintain, save)
  4. change (change, make, shape, revolutionize, review, disrupt, transform)
  5. progress (advance, improve, elevate, transcend, prevent, resolve)
  6. creation (build, activate, craft, feature, generate, invent, establish, construct)
  7. communication (formulate, highlight, illustrate, inform, instruct, persuade, promote, reveal, inspire, coach, claim, facilitate, imagine)
  8. operations (collect, delivery, produce, make, distribute, enable, equip, execute, validate, work, produce, organize, test, measure, offer, launch)
  9. human resources/human factor (honor, encourage, empower, educate, celebrate, care, sustain, motivate, entertain)

9 categories

Vision can therefore shift from a “soft” one like a combinatio of scenario words together with creation or communication categories to a “hard” one, where target words together with challenge and fight or time verbs.

So in the end a good mission is about a balanced combination of RED and BLUE.

Try to combine these categories to find your own.

There are probably many other words that can be used next to those we tried to list, those are just the most common ones. But they can provide some useful hint (one of them could be also to avoid all of them in order to produce something really original!!!)