Last Saturday was the first day I ever put up a proper pitch to someone. I didn’t get pass the first sentence. “Online review directory for all learning needs” doesn’t explain what the business really do and having a revenue model based on advertisement is dumb unless I have 10 million eyeballs per day. :(
So after that 30mins of discussion that really destroyed my business plan, I went off for dinner date thinking that I don’t have to rush to refine my idea before Sunday’s class. I was bloody wrong.
In class, there’s this ‘hot seat’ section that people can go to the front of the class and do a 1 minute pitch. No points for guessing who got pointed at to get up there and pitch. I was so terribly stressed that I think I max out the cortisol level that can be produced in a human being. So much cortisol that my pre-frontal cortex and cerebellum hurt (Alright, I’m just trying to show off my bio-psychology prowess here. What I’m saying is that my front and back of my head hurt.) and I was cursing that my higher cognitive level and basic movement coordination were impaired, not helping me in my pitch.
Being the psychology buff I am, I tried to imbue some psychology persuasion techniques into my pitch. I chose to use foot-in-the-door technique. This is a tactic that gets people to be more agreeable to a larger request after agreeing to a smaller one.The idea behind this technique is that people want to be consistent. So let’s say if I want to appear helpful, I will want to be consistent and also help you in your larger request.
What I wanted to do was to make people agree that there’s a market to my idea first then to agree with my business idea. I tried to do it with a poll to whether people want to learn a new skill.
I honestly thought that I was being ingenious with this method. But it turns out that poll participation worked (everyone had their hand raised) and I killed my pitch. Not to mention that I spent so much time describing the landscape without flipping it over to talk about my business plan and tripped on my pitch when I realized it. I’m a retard. :(
Do not use poll in your pitch. Do not use poll in your pitch. Do not use poll in your pitch. Do not use poll in your pitch. DO NOT USE POLL IN YOUR PITCH.
I believe that one mentor caught that I was using this technique. Phil suggested that I should package my pitch in a way that people can agree with it, and do so without the subtlety of a raging bull. Describing pain points were fine too, but keep it within 15 seconds.
Anyway, the mentors are cool. Phil’s an encouraging fatherly dude and Simone is a critic who supplements his criticism with suggested solutions. I love a style like his. But I have an unfounded fear that Adeo is going to scream at me every time I see him. :X
Alright, enough blogging. Back to the lab for more brainstorming. Mental Note: Watch Dragon’s Den to learn pitching and beg entrepreneurs to meet me.I build Learnemy, an online marketplace that finds you the right instructors and classes in Singapore. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter