At Moon Creative Lab, we regularly hold pitch events to gather new business ideas. employees. Prior to the pitch event, Moon designers and/or program managers are assigned to each idea as mentors to help Idea Owners brush up on their concepts and pitch decks. In this article we’ll explain what a pitch coach does exactly and share the checklist provided to Idea Owners.
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We’ve noticed from previous Idea Owners that they’ll often spend a lot of time preparing and researching their idea, often gathering an overwhelming amount of information. While we always encourage doing your research it’s important that the audience only needs to know a certain amount of information to understand the key message. That's why it's necessary to narrow down the key points and organize the information so it’s easier for listeners to digest the information you’re trying to sell them on.
Before ILLUMINATE, we provide a 60 minute coaching session. The purpose of the session is to give Idea Owners the confidence and necessary tools to give a strong presentation. We often explore topic areas such as:
Through these processes, we aim to complete a deck and script prior to the event.
It’s difficult to complete a deck within a 60 minute coaching session but we provide materials Idea Owners need to complete, continue communication on an ongoing basis, and repeat this process to help them organize the idea and pitch deck contents.
We also provide advice to make sure the Idea Owners are aware of the specific format we have at each event. Pitch time is limited to five minutes so it is important that Idea Owners are making their pitch by following this rule.
To create an ideal pitch composition we take these examples, shown in the next section, as a reference to create a perfect pitch.
It's very important to make it easy to understand your business idea because this can affect not only listeners' understanding and emotions but also business growth. Therefore, improving the pitch deck can lead to improving business ideas as well.
Some successful pitch decks are shared on websites and social media channels. We encourage Idea Owners to utilize these resources as well. Here is the list of recommended resources.
■Best Pitch Decks
"Best Pitch Decks” is a website that gathers "winning decks" from various startups. You can view pitch decks from Facebook, Spotify, WeWork, Airbnb, etc.
■Pitch Deck Hunt
You can view more startup pitch decks from this website as well. Including Shopify, Uber, LinkedIn, Coinbase, and DropBox.
■How to Pitch Your Startup
A commentary video by Kevin Hale of Y Combinator, a seed accelerator that supports startup businesses. Clear (05:08), Example Pitches (12:30), and Be Concise (20:09) talk about how to create easy-to-understand pitches. You can also view the contents of the video as texts from here.
YouTube: How to Pitch Your Startup（Kevin Hale)
■Great example of pitches via Y Combinator
This is a case of nine winning decks introduced on Twitter by Michael Hook, a co-founder of Launch House. You can refer to how these pitches are composed to deliver a message in under three minutes.
In order to deliver a clear and memorable message, composition of the contents is key. There is no one model that fits all but considering the following three points will make it easier to create a series of smooth flows in your pitch deck.
① Beginning: Warm-up
② Middle: Show the data
③ End: To be remembered
In these three sections, each of the following elements needs to be explained.
① Beginning: Warm-up
Vision. Is the idea expressed in a single clear sentence?
Story. Why listeners need to listen - What personal experience evokes listeners’ empathy?
② Middle: Show the data
Problem. What problem to solve - Are there competitors?
Solution. How? What is better than your competitors?
Evidence. What data (micro and macro) support the hypothesis?
Timing. Why now?
Business model. Explain business models and opportunities.
③ Ending: To be remembered
Why you? Why can't other people do it?
What story do you want to tell them the most? Listener can remember only one thing. What would you choose?
At the beginning of the pitch, get the listener's attention by introducing yourself and giving them reasons why they need to listen carefully.
It is very important to be able to explain your idea in a single sentence. Kevin Hale of Y Combinator, explains the importance of this in the above-mentioned video because it leads to business growth through word of mouth.
If you can deliver something interesting in a single sentence, people are more likely to be able to talk about it. The idea is that simplicity will lead to word-of-mouth diffusion.
In the middle, you review the data and rationale that support the claim. Strategies can be conveyed by checking from multiple perspectives, such as domestic data to see how the business would grow in the early stage to global data for post-growth.
In the end, emphasize what you want to tell the most, and what you want your listeners to remember. If you leave a strong impression on more listeners, you are more likely to be chosen.
After brushing up on the business idea and pitch deck, you will look for final tweaks in the rehearsal.
It is important to consider various factors such as the speed of speech, equipment that will be used, and time loss due to unexpected events, etc. Idea Owners prepare a script to use their time effectively and practice repeatedly.
It is very important to receive feedback on the pitch from as many people as possible during the rehearsal. By incorporating the opinions of those who heard it for the first time allows you to check if your message can be understood by first time listeners.
In the 60-minute coaching session, we can only identify what needs to be improved. The original idea is shaped by the insights of each Idea Owner and the information they obtained from research.
What we shared in this article can be applied not only for pitching business ideas but also for occasions such as making proposals to business partners or sharing case studies within the company. We hope this article helps you polish up on your idea!
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