Silicon Halton has previously successfully conducted “Pitch Camps” in our Peer-2-Peer groups and the participants have found peer-feedback to be hugely valuable. We witnessed lackluster, unclear, unfocused or ambiguous pitches become powerful, razor focused, clear value propositions. On November 6, 2012, we held our first Pitch Camp Breakfast, a P2P-like-event dedicated to replicating the successful experience of improving members pitches. We succeeded.
Refinement Powered By Peers
Peers provided valuable feedback which will in turn helped refine pitches so they carried the right amount of weight and left the best possible impact. The feedback wasn’t all roses – but it was honest. You know what you want to hear in someone else’s pitch, yet it’s often the most difficult task to translate that into your pitch. You’re too close. Pitchers needed fresh perspectives to tell them what others are hearing (or not hearing), which in turn was used to refine and razor focus their pitch.
We provided an opportunity, intimate forum, a safe atmosphere, comprised of a trusted group of their peers, where members to practice delivering their pitch, receive trusted peer feedback, re-refine their pitch, and re-deliver their refined pitch for more feedback.
You need the practice. You don’t want to live with the consequences of a poorly framed and delivered pitch at the moment the pitch matters most, and when you only get one chance to make your mark. Nothing is more important than receiving real feedback before you’re standing in front of that potential future key client.
A Few Lessons Learned:
- Listeners want to know why they’re listening to your pitch.Tell them up-front.
- Have multiple versions, lengths, of your pitch ready. Sometimes you get 20min, sometimes 5 or 10min, sometimes only 1 min.
- How will your product make money or save me time or money?
- What’s your “ask”?
In addition to peer coaching, we were fortunate to have 3 community members stand-up and freely give their time and expertise, which further heightened the value. Thanks Coaches!
Philip Neukom is the President of Profit Analytics Inc., a firm that advises entrepreneurs on how to raising funds and provides interim executives for growing tech and manufacturing companies. Philip has worked for 25 years in growth stage to Fortune 500 companies as a senior executive, management consultant, board member and venture capital investor. He has raised money from angel investors; the public markets; and, helped entrepreneurs raise funds from Canadian and US based venture capital funds. Philip is also a volunteer mentor at Innovation Factory and has helped evaluate pitches of the Lion's Lair startups in 2011 and 2012.
Reema Duggal is the President of the Sitaran Group, a knowledge management solutions company. She helps clients engage more customers, make their employees more productive, and improve profits through the strategic implementation of company websites, client portals, learning portals, and employee portals. Prior to launching her company, she held many senior roles at EDS and SHL Systemhouse.
She’s been an core team member of the Silicon Halton community for three years.
Rick Stomphorst is the Principal Consultant at SearchVelocity.ca, providing services to technology companies to identify and acquire high-value technology staff. Rick is a technology leader with over 25 years experience with SaaS & on-premise software, large IT professional consulting firms and five software start-ups. He is the cofounder of Silicon Halton. [LinkedIn] [@StompR] [Blog]. Rick last blogged about the newly launched Startup CEO Peer-to-Peer.
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