Notes from the second Tech Sisters Preparation event for Garage48

09 October 2013


In her inspiring talk Eliise Sass gave several key points to bear in mind while preparing and giving one of the most important presentations of the event - the pitch*.
*Pitch is a 90 second long presentation, during which you will explain the idea you would like to turn into reality during the following 48 hours.

Here are some of the tips you should keep in mind when preparing for the pitch:

* Name your idea!

This is important so that people who are interested in your idea, will later find you. It also helps to get your message across more easily.

* Plan your pitch step-by-step!

Dividing your pitch into smaller segments will help you to memorize it more easily and to also cover the most important points of your idea. A good pitch should include the following:
  1. The first 10 sec give some insight about the idea’s background;
  2. the following 30 sec explain why this specific topic interests you or why do you think you should make it happen;
  3. after that for 30 sec give the listeners a short overview of the realization’s vision and some technical dependencies, if you have any prior knowledge of them;
  4. and for the final 20 sec let everyone know what kind of skills do you need in your team to archive your goal.

Don’t end your pitch with just being silent! Thank your audience and make it clear that you have finished your presentation!

* Keep it simple!
It’s very hard to say everything during these 90 seconds, so try to show only the most important aspects of your idea. Too much information is going to lose the focus of the main idea, so try to express yourself with fewer words, but with passion that keeps you going.

* Tell a story!
People listening to your pitch can relate to your idea more easily when you present it through story telling. Don’t just shoot blank facts, instead try to invoke the listeners imagination, so that they could not only hear your idea but also feel it.

* Practice, practice, practice!

Use every opportunity to rehearse your speech - with your team mates, random people who would be willing to listen, in front of a mirror with yourself, film yourself and then analyze what could be done even better or let someone read out loud your own pitch and try to understand yourself if it really says what you have in mind.

And keep in mind these valuable tips and tricks what to use during the actual pitching:

* Breathe!

Giving a pitch isn’t a contest on who gets the most words said in 90 seconds - quite the opposite. Try not to overwhelm your pitch with numerous words. Instead use fewer words that have more meaning. Also use pauses to take a moment to breathe. This gives you some time to remember what’s next on your pitch and make you look more confident.

* Forget the mistakes!
If you make a mistake during your pitch, just let it slide and smoothly move on with your talk. The chances are that your audience won’t even notice it, because the only one, who knows that it was an unplanned mistake, is you.

* Use your voice and body to support your pitch!
Words aren’t everything. So try to make your pitch as natural and interesting to listen to as possible by using the intonation of your voice and appropriate body language.

* Communicate with your audience!
In order to get the attention of the right people, try to get in contact as much as possible with your listeners. Stop staring at your shoes and start looking at your potential team players. And if it seems too scary, ask your friend to sit in the back row or in the middle of the audience, so that you could find support when you need it the most.

Just be yourself and don’t forget to have fun!

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