By Eliot Kersgaard
As part of our experience in Catalyze CU, we spend our Fridays receiving feedback on our five-minute pitch of Myra Makes and watching the other 7 teams give theirs. Here’s what I learned week one, when I was the team member that gave our pitch.
First, of course I Googled “how to give a pitch,” and got the following formula:
-Introduce the problem
-Introduce the solution
-Introduce the business model and revenue projections
-Introduce the team
-Discuss your traction and next step
And I prepared the following slide deck, which I was super excited to present to the cohort:
Here is me giving the pitch:
This pitch was almost universally regarded as a complete failure. Daniel Zacek, one of the Catalyze mentors, said that while he loves the company, there was not a single thing about the pitch that he liked.
-Too many words
-Not clearly explained
So what are we going to do next time?
Bring the kids in sooner! After all, this is what it’s all about, right?
Tell a story! Pitching should be a performance, not a formula. The audience will immediately lose engagement when you hit them right off the bat with a slide about a problem with some confusing charts in it. I probably spent about a minute on that problem slide, when in reality I could have spent 15 seconds on an emotional appeal instead.
But what about the data, you ask? Study it! Keep it in your back pocket in case you get asked a difficult question about it, but don’t bore the audience with impersonal data right off the bat!
So what is that emotional appeal? Maybe it could go something like this:
“Think about the typical public school classroom in America today. Is it an inspiring, empowering place? No! In fact, study after study has shown that public education in the US kills creativity, doesn’t engage students in problem solving, and is an impersonal, motivation-killing experience for most.
So what can be done? How can we inspire the next generation as full participants in society, who are excited to learn and face the challenges of the day?”
Here at Myra Makes, we spend our days thinking of ways to do just that (in between thinking about less exciting stuff, like sales funnels, operating agreements, and taxes). We think we’re on to something:
Use adventure and fun characters to introduce open-ended problem solving and STEAM to kids at a young age! Here’s a peek of how we do it:
You can download our preview and place a pre-order here.
Stay tuned to see how this pitch evolves!