Brisbane-changemakers

Welcome to module Nine

Powerful pitching & storytelling Secrets.

Learn the art of storytelling to capture, engage and influence an audience. Receive and practice pitching secrets to successfully sell your project.


Contents

CAPTURING, ENGAGING & INFLUENCING

CREATIVE COMMUNICATION

STORYTELLING STRUCTURE

UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCE

THE STRONG METHOD

THE PITCH DECK CANVAS

RECOMMENDED BOOKS 

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Capturing, engaging & influencing.

How might you best capture, engage and influence an audience? When have you felt most compelled to act in support of a cause or enterprise? Do you respond well to a hard sell or a cold call?

As humans, we are naturally drawn to stories, and well told, they remain in our mind for years. Just think of your favourite childhood stories. So how might you craft an intriguing story based on your authentic purpose and passion which will occupy some of the best real estate there is; a spot in someone’s mind? Now’s the time to craft, practice and perfect your pitch. Let’s get going!

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A PITCH DECK GUIDE

In the following column, you’ll find what Pollenizer consider to be the essential ingredients for any pitch deck. Which ingredients could/ should you add to your pitch?

But remember, an idea is worthless without someone to drive it forward and make it real.

People invest in people who display a strong ability to find solutions to a problem.

The way you come across as a person during the pitch can make or break your success.

  • Hi I’m from...

  • The problem we’re solving is...

  • The solution is...

  • This is a big opportunity because...

  • Our target market is...

  • We’ll acquire customers by...

  • We’ll make money by...

  • Our competition is...

  • We’re better because...

  • Our team is...

  • What we’ll do next is...

  • Currently we are seeking...

  • To summarise...

  • Thanks...


Creative communication.

The Shannon-Weaver Model of Communication, (seen below), helps break down just how easy it is for us to communicate our message perfectly. In ‘encoding’ a message that we’re trying to communicate from our brain, the message goes through our own filters, where our personality, paradigms and experience all influence what we say. Similarly, when the message is received, it’s ‘decoded’ using the receiver’s filters, meaning that your personality and appearance can greatly influence what is understood/perceived. Add noise, time pressures and other distractions into the mix and it’s easy to see why people are commonly misunderstood!

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DID YOU KNOW?

Albert Mehrabian’s research on communication broke down words, tone and body language into the following percentages of how much they influence your message:

Words (what is actually said) = 7%

Tone of voice (how we say words) = 38%

Body language = 55%

Tone & body language can’t be ignored!

DURING YOUR PITCH...

Your words are important, but in the lead up to pitching, pay particular attention to your tone of voice and body language. How are people perceiving you?

Do you come across as enthusiastic, driven and passionate. Do you use facial expression to generate cursiosity? Do you appear confident in what you’re saying? Is there reason to doubt what you’re saying? Focus on making eye contact. Sentences like ‘we will try to’ should be changed to ‘we will’.


Storytelling structure.

Watch Nancy Duarte’s TEDx talk where she uncovers the common structure of greatest communicators (also shown in the image below).

Is this an approach that could work for your pitch? Whilst not always appropriate, this technique can be effective.

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BEDTIME STORIES

What was your favourite story as a child? Who were the characters? Why did you like it so much?

Reflect on the most memorable stories and explore ways to weave their structure into your pitch.

Did you have a favourite person who read you the story? What made them the better storyteller when the words and pictures remained the same?


Understanding your audience.

What language/lingo does your audience expect and understand?

What appeals to your audience? What’s important to your audience? Be clear on the outcomes you’d like to get from a pitch. Who may be in the audience that could help you achieve those outcomes? Use targeted language. How will you engage them?

If you need to use numbers, how will you explain those numbers in a way that the audience understand quickly and effectively? 100,000,000L of water or 40 Olympic size swimming pools?

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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Before the pitch night, run through your pitch at least once a day.

Film yourself pitching. How can you improve?

You should know your pitch like the back of your hand and spend time connecting with your audience rather than looking at palm cards or sounding uncertain.

Check out this video which gives another perspective on how to pitch.


The STRONG Method.

In his book, Pitch Anything, Oren Klaff outlines the STRONG method, which is outlined below. Check out the quick video summary of the book to the right.

Whilst elements of this theory could be debated, is this type of approach something that may work when you’re pitching?

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TOO MUCH TEXT!

Think you’ve probably got the right balance of text on your pitch deck? Hmmmm.

Try this: remove half of the text from your slides (overall).

What if you had a maximum of five words on a slide? In a 3 minute pitch, long sentences or text WILL NOT BE READ.

A picture tells a thousand words.

FINDING IMAGES

There are a number of image banks on line, but please avoid the unnatural stock photos. Either use real images or find appropriate ones which have a consistent feel and convey emotion.

You might like to try:


The Pitch Canvas.

The Pitch Canvas produced by Best 3 Minutes provides further food for thought when putting together your pitch. Have you covered these bases?

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Recommended books

If you spend time commuting, audiobooks are a great way to continue learning and challenging your perspectives. Have you read any of these yet?


Good luck Elevators!

There’s no real ‘one size fits all’ when you pitch. Remember to target your pitch to your audience, using the most appropriate narrative that resonates. Essentially, you’re telling a story. Why will someone remember yours, amidst all the others?

You’ll have no longer than 3 minutes on the pitch night. Keep it short, sharp and punchy. With this type of pitch you’re fishing, and planting seeds of curiosity which lead to deeper conversations and directed action.

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Thank you for the fantastic energy you bring to the Elevate+ cohort.