PITCHING PRACTICE – SESSION
Session developed by XAMK
Authored by Antti Leppilampi
The session starts with a discussion of good pitching techniques. Students spend 5 minutes writing their thoughts, then share their answers with a partner outside of their group. Next, everyone contributes to a single list of good practice and techniques. An AHsprofessional/entrepreneur shares her own experience and explains what a jury of investors, media representatives or potential strategic partners usually wants to see. We then return to the list and add these insights. After that, the groups practice individually; defining the structure and preparing the materials for their pitch, with support of mentors. At the end of the session, each group presents a low-risk 5 minutes pitch to the room to showcase their progress.
- Encourage students to share their own knowledge about pitch and what they value
in a good presentation;
- Provide basic knowledge about pitch structures and techniques;
- Encourage students to explore and improve their presentation skills;
- Improve students capacity to define priorities and make decisions (in order to respect time limits and still present an effective pitch);
- Promote team work through the experience of producing results under pressure.
9.00 am – 10.30 am
2.30 pm – 4.30 pm
final pitch presentation
11.30 am – 1.00 pm
- Each team presents a five minute pitch to a panel of juries (maximum 5 people – ideally AHs professionals from different companies and organizations). The competition ends with network drinks or lunch.
room/ equipment requirements
- Open room, with chairs for everyone (organised on a circle)
- Pens and paper
- Projector or a big poster
Outline of activities
Thinking individually about what makes a good pitch (5 minutes)
Sharing answers with partners (10 minutes)
Sharing answers aloud to everyone in the room (15 minutes)
Understanding the basics of pitching (10 minutes)
Being the 4th day of the week and the last day of preparation for their presentation – on 5th day students do their pitch, presenting the work their group has done during the week, we start from the basis to get students understand what a good pitch means, inviting them to present their own ideas. This kind of a method will get students more motivated to learn, since their voices have been heard and they see that they already know something about the topic.
After reflecting individually over their ideas, students share them in small groups and finally present a selection out loud to the whole group. This is an easy first step to speaking aloud to an audience.
Getting deeper knowledge about how to build a perfect pitch
Understanding where a jury (investors, entrepreneurs, representatives from leading institutions) usually focus on when they hear and evaluate a pitch
Getting students to recognize that they already know something about pitching.
The AHs professional makes a pitch presentation and shares her experience with previous competitions or investment rounds. She then gives feedback on the list of elements for a good pitch previously prepared by the students and discusses with them possible questions they might still have.
Understanding how to prepare a pitch presentation
Getting familiar with how it is like to pitch an idea.
The groups prepare their pitch and practice by themselves, giving feedback to each other, checking the timing and taking care of the presentations technical elements.
After that, each group presents their own pitch to the mentors/ lecturers, who give feedback on how to improve the presentation and highlight the most important points where they should focus. At this stage, the presentations should run more privately, only with between each team and the mentors/ lecturers, as students might feel more comfortable not having a big audience. All students in each group should be encouraged to participate, even if they choose not to speak.
It is also important to make clear that pitch isn’t only something they use in business. In every day working life, we need to present our ideas and convince others
to accept them. Students should understand that such communication skills are
important, regardless of the professional pathway they choose to follow.
All the modules
For a 5 day duration programme, with a group of 25 students, the recommended outline has been defined as follows.
Initiation & Ideation
Ice-breaking session where students introduce themselves
and discuss their goals and expectations about the programme through a series of interactive exercises. This is followed by team-building exercises to define the working groups. At the end of the session, challenges are presented and, through design thinking strategies, teams should be able to decide and briefly present the dea they will be developing throughout the rest of the days.
Creative Project Planning
During this day, the groups learn how to use project planning basic concepts and tools, namely the Creative Project Canvas, in order to develop their project structure/ business model (depending on the challenge they chose). The Creative Project Canvas is the tool suggested for the groups to during the entire training week, to plan and reflect on theproject/solution/prototype to be delivered at the end of the pilot.Go to the module 2
Intellectual Property and Strategy for CulturalProfessionals
After a brief introduction about the characteristics of cultural markets’ structures and dynamics(particularly those of cultural work), students will learn the basics of intellectual property (with special focus on copyright) and how such regulations can affect their work (projects, business or career wise). In the second part of the session, through a series of examples of AH projects (businesses and non-profit), they will be introduced to other differentiation factors and how they can strategically use them in their projects in order to reach their own goals more effectively.Go to the module 3
Pitch and Communication
The Pitch and Communication session starts with some pitch warm-up exercises, so the teams can test a first approach to present their projects to each other.
They learn how to structure and deliver a good 5 minutes pitch and also about essential communication rules and techniques that will help them define the communication strategy for their projects.
As the day ends, a series of drama exercises allow students to learn and test their most natural and important communication tool: their own bodies.
Body as Communication Device
In this session, participants are introduced to ideas and exercises that explore presence in relation to the body as a communicative devise and they are invited to partake in a number of exercises.Go to the module 5
Meet The Professionals
Depending on the chosen format/ duration of the programme, you can choose to include “Meet the Professionals” short sessions involving your guest entrepreneurs/ mentors.Go to the module 6
Final Pitch Day
In the final day, the teams will present their 5 minutes pitch to a panel of 5 juries, who will give feedback on the project and the presentation performance and decide which team is the winner.Go to the module 7