STEP 6: PUT IT INTO ACTION
go out into the world!
You’ve reached the last step of the #guide2innovate. Congratulations! Which means you are now ready to bring your results (be it a new product, a new business or the results of your research project) to the world! But guess what, you are not the only one with something to say and, besides knowing what to say, when and to whom (which you defined in your communication or marketing plan), you also need to know how to say it. And that has everything to do with how you present yourself. In this last chapter, we offer some tips on how to deliver the perfect pitch, be it to an investor, a customer or your fellow researchers.
Having a good product, service or innovative solution is great, but if no one knows about it, what’s the point? You have something great to offer, so it is important to start telling people about it. Whether you are talking to a customer, a new employer or an investor, having a great pitch is essential. Sometimes you might be able to prepare, but you might need to pitch at a moment when you least expect it: what if there’s someone in the bus next to you who wants to know what you have to offer? What if you happen to run into an investor with some extra cash? Sometimes you have plenty of time and sometimes you have only 1 minute. An effective pitch must be able to be like an accordion; it must be able to be short and focused if necessary, but must also be able to expand and fill the time that is available. Remember this: you always needs to be ready to pitch!
So prepare you pitch, test it (with a friendly and critical audience) and tweak it. Here’s a few tips on what helps to make your pitch stick.
Start with why
Talk about what inspired you to develop this product, share your personal story and what motivates you to want to bring this product or service to the world
Get to the point
Tell your story but get to the point quickly otherwise you might lose the attention. First, you need to be clear about what value you’re offering and for whom. Talk about the problem you’re solving and how. And then be clear about what it is that you want from your audience or the person you’re talking to? How can he/she help you achieve your goal?
Make it relevant
Tailor your message to the person you’re talking to. What part of your product do you think is relevant to your audience? Don’t bore with the technical details of your product if you’re speaking to an investor but explain what’s in it for the investor. How is your product going to make a difference for your audience? What is it going to improve?
The last part of your pitch matters. This is what your audience will remember and will take home: what is your key message that you want to get across? What action do you expect from them and with what feelings and emotions do you want to leave your audience? Closing strong is thinking carefully about the content ánd presentation of your final message: do you want to close with a powerful statement, a joke or a critical question?
It is unlikely that you’ll get your pitch right the first time. So practice your pitch with a familiar audience first, record yourself, tweak your message and do it again and again and again. When it’s appropriate, ask for feedback from your audience on how you could improve your pitch next time: what did they miss, what did they like? And keep challenging yourself to find opportunities to pitch your products with a relevant audience.
And remember: there is loads of articles written about what should be in a pitch. Have a read online and you’ll find tons of other tips to make your pitch perfect. Don’t get overwhelmed but determine what tips can help you and fit your style. Authenticity is key!