How to Pitch Your Ideas Fast and Effectively

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Elevator pitches are yesterday’s news. We help you navigate alternative ways to present your business ideas to potential stakeholders as effectively and quickly as possible.

Time was when a perfect elevator pitch was considered the way to get your business idea across to a potential investor or decision-maker in record time. You would practice a super-fast speech to make to some imaginary executive you found in a fictional lift. The pitch condensed your idea and convinced your target into investing in you and your business before the lift doors opened again. But the current consensus is that this approach to pitching is dead. What has replaced it is a whole range of possible approaches that can be difficult to navigate, but which offer entrepreneurs lots of options to fit their own style. We take a look at three.

The Godin Method

Marketing guru Seth Godin, as you may have guessed, has his own method for presenting business ideas. The Godin Method involves reducing the amount of words used in presentation slides to an absolute minimum. He holds that bullet points summarising what the presenter is saying are redundant and distracting. This approach requires a lot of pitching practice as you will be unable to use the information on the slides as a crutch. The benefit of this method is that it boosts your credibility by highlighting how effective you are as a communicator and, if it’s implemented well, how passionate you are about your ideas.

Pecha Kucha

If Pecha Kucha means nothing to you it’s probably because it’s Japanese for chit-chat. This presentation method was designed by two Japanese architects organising a conference in a bid to stop their colleagues talking too much.

The method involves presenting 20 slides for exactly 20 seconds each. The timing of the slides is set automatically so there can be no room for manoeuvre. Selecting this approach imposes discipline on the presenter by requiring them to condense their ideas to their absolute essence. Keeping slide text to a minimum is also a good idea using this approach, as is practicing your timing.

The Takahashi Method

At first glance the Takahashi Method seems to be the polar opposite of the Godin Method, but in fact they have some similarities.

In an attempt to move away from traditional slide presentations, Japanese computer programmer Masayoshi Takahashi, to give a five-minute presentation without using powerpoint decided to focus only on words. He used large black Japanese characters on a white background and reduced them to the absolute minimum.

This approach, whether in Japanese or using an alphabet-based language, forces the presenter to be brief and not to clutter presentations with unnecessary visuals. Each slide requires identifying the essence of the message and reducing that message to a single word or just a few words.

Whatever method you choose to use to pitch your ideas it’s important to remember that the point of your pitch is to make your audience want to start a conversation. It’s not a one-shot deal where you either sell your idea or go home. As Godin reminds us, “Don’t sell us anything but the burning desire to follow up.”

Qualquer que seja o método que escolher para apresentar as suas ideias, é importante lembrar que o objetivo de seu discurso é fazer com que o seu público queira iniciar uma conversa. Não é um acordo único em que vende a sua ideia ou volta para casa. Como Godin nos lembra: “Não nos venda nada além do desejo ardente de acompanhar”.

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