How to be pitch perfect
Last night was the first time Azure got validation from a third party. I entered into a competition organised by the Humanities at Oxford University. The finals boiled down to 5 participants. We were invited to practice our pitch…
Have you ever watched yourself on film? It’s not the ‘add 10 pounds’ bit that bothers me, it’s the: ‘add 10 years’ that was fatal to my ego.
Once I got over the shock, I looked again and again and again, obsessively, just like that car crash. My tactic was simple: what are the ticks I am not aware of (I tend to close my eyes for a little too long when I’m trying to make a point; my version of ostrich). There’s also the timing, body language, speed of speech, etc. etc.
Bottom line: I spent 4 hours each night for about 2 days rehearsing a 5 min pitch. It’s absolutely maddening if you work your pitch hard enough so you know exactly which words need to be said, at what speed, for a specific effect.
Here are the lessons I learned for this first pitch of 5 min:
Clarity: who are you? What are you selling?
Pace: Keep a good calm and steady pace of speech (many go too fast when they’re nervous)
Hook them with a story
Audience: it’s absolutely essential to know who you are talking to. I introduce Azure as a social enterprise or as a business depending on who’s in the room.
Who is your customer? What is their need? How are you going to reach them?
You: Why are you the right person to make this business work?
Scalable? Can you expand your empire..!?
Strategy? How are you going to expand that empire..!?
Feasibility? Realistically, is this empire of yours ever going to exist..?
I tried hard to boil all this down to 6 slides and 5 min. It worked. Azure won :-)