As an entrepreneur, it’s important to sell your idea and tell your story. And sometimes you have to do it on short notice or within a limited timeframe. So, how can you tell your story and idea quickly, while still packing a punch?
TEDxLSU organizers Annemarie Galeucia, Melissa Thompson and Rebecca Burdette have mastered the art of concise and meaningful storytelling during their six years of coaching speakers for the TEDxLSU stage. They have a few quick tips to help you get started on constructing a winning pitch, whether you are presenting your idea to a sold-out audience or a stranger on the street.
Their tips to a winning pitch:
Commit to Crafting Your Message
BAM! You’ve got your idea. It came to you on your run, while singing in the shower, or on your way to work; however it happened, you have it and you aren’t letting it go. You quickly scribble it down on a cocktail napkin or furiously type it into your phone, but that isn’t enough. This is just your first draft.
Before wildly telling everyone about your idea that was only sketched out on a napkin, take the time to rework the messaging. Sit down and write out your thoughts (however long it takes), then edit and rewrite, edit and rewrite, until you have it… the perfect idea.
You should practice to “internalize” your message. Internalization allows you to understand the ends and outs of your message, unlike reciting a pitch which only allows you to deliver your message in the way that it was rehearsed.
To internalize your message, practice in all sorts of situations. Practice on your own and with others. Practice while seated, standing, and squatting. Practice with a drink in your hand or a baby on your hip -- whatever the case may be for you. Practice in quiet and loud spaces. Practice in environments that make you uncomfortable. This way you will be prepared to share your message in any sort of environment at any moment in time (without a full-length monologue prepared).
While this may appear as a third step, it’s really step two and step four. Throughout the process of crafting your message, solicit feedback on both your written pitch and verbal delivery of it. Ask for detailed comments on the pitch and be prepared with specific questions. “Do you like it” and, “is it good,” are not good enough questions. The more specific your questions, the richer the critique and the easier it will be to better your pitch.
Also, learn to seek feedback from a wide range of people. Ask your family and friends for their critiques, but also venture outside of your inner circle to get feedback from others. If you’re brave enough, pitch it to strangers and ask for their feedback. Strangers are often our greatest mirrors.
To learn more tips and tricks to mastering your pitch, join the TEDxLSU organizers at their BREW session “Telling your story with a little TED-like magic” on November 15 at 1:30-2:30 p.m.