Selling your idea in just one minute

Communication means exchanging information from one person to another, and it comes in many different forms. It actually means the way you put your ideas across to different audiences. There are different types of communication: oral, written and non-verbal .
This can be translated as that we communicate while we speak, write or even sometimes when we move.

Competences addressed/ learning outcomes expand_more

After completing this Learning resource participants will be able to:  
- Gain fundamental knowledge of what communication is and its different channels 
- Gain basic knowledge of presentation/pitching techniques
- Design a short, coherent text to convey a message to an audience
- Identify the characteristics of a successful pitch
- Present a short text to convey a message to an audience to call to action 


The objectives of this learning resource can be summarised as below:
The objective of the present material is to enhance learners’ skills in communicating their message in a way that calls to action alongside demonstrating critical sense in analysing instructions and select the ones that meet their goal. 

In addition to the above, we will also share some Tips for overcoming communication barriers, which can support communication on different levels.

Theoretical background expand_more

Watch the below video, about What is Communication?

After finishing, initiate a discussion about the importance of communication in different settings.

Together with the group, brainstorm a list of why effective communication is important in an entrepreneurial context and what they should pay attention to.

Communication means exchanging information from one person to another, and it comes in many different forms. It actually means the way you put your ideas across to different audiences. There are different types of communication:
· oral, 
· written and 
· non-verbal 

This can be translated as that we communicate while we speak, write or even sometimes when we move. 
All communication involves a sender and a receiver.

Effective communication is the process of exchanging ideas, thoughts, opinions, knowledge, and data so that the message is received and understood with clarity and purpose. When we communicate effectively, both the sender and receiver feel satisfied.

Communication is perhaps the most critical quality for being a successful entrepreneur.
It takes much more than that, of course, but without effective communication, great ideas stay locked in entrepreneurial minds.

Therefore, let your learners know, that effective communication is key to the success of almost every type of personal, social and business interaction. If there are barriers to it, we might find it hard to express yourself properly. By understanding the different barriers to communication, we can understand how to overcome them and improve our communication skills.

Tips for how to overcome communication barriers?
1. Think carefully about what you want to communicate.
2. Choose the right communication channel.
3. Maintain a positive and assertive attitude.
4. Listen to communication.
5. Make sure you have the appropriate means for communication.
6. Think about the physical, cultural, linguistic, emotional, perceptual and attitude barriers. (read about these here)

In our quickly changing world, we are all short of time and abundant with information. Entrepreneurs have only a very short time available to present their solutions to the customers and investors who face a flood of similar offers every day. Pitching is a good solution in this respect: giving a concise and engaging presentation to the chosen target group. It might seem easy to deliver such a short talk, but to present a convincing pitch, one must invest lots of energy in carving and practising it.

When you are to improve a pitch (view a general description of pitching as a method here) or a short presentation of a solution to a problem, it is a good idea to base it on a template, as this will help you prioritise and structure your material. In a situation where you need to convince an audience of the value of the solution you have developed, NABC is a useful tool as it highlights the value for the end users.
But what exactly is the NABC model?

Need – What are the customer and market needs?
Approach – What is your unique approach for addressing this need?
Benefit - What are the specific benefits for the stakeholders?
Competition – How are the benefits superior to the competition and the alternatives?
These are the four questions you can structure and plan your pitch according to the NABC-model.

Watch the video about the NABC model here:

Another possibility for planning your pitch is the Kawasaki 10/20/30 model.
Guy Kawasaki, - who is the ambassador of Canva and the creator of Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People podcast, alongside being an executive of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley), and adjunct professor of the University of New South Wales - is transmitting the importance of the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint, which is quite simple, and it means that: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.

The ten topics that an investment entrepreneur who you might want to convince about your business idea cares about are:
●  Problem 
●  Your solution
●  Business model
●  Underlying magic/technology
●  Marketing and sales
●  Competition
●  Team
●  Projections and milestones
●  Status and timeline
●  Summary and call to action

To get the best out of your idea, in a reasonable time, the above list should be followed.
Even though we saw that there are different types of pitching/presentation possibilities, our activity focuses on preparing an elevator pitch.

Watch this video about the perfect elevator pitch.
After watching the video, make sure to have time to go through the 7 steps on how to build a winning elevator pitch:
1. Define the problem - The most important thing is to identify a problem that is worth solving. If your product or service doesn’t solve a problem that potential customers have, you don’t have a viable business model.
2. Describe your solution - too many entrepreneurs start their elevator pitch by describing their solution: a product or service that they think the market needs. They skip step 1 and don’t identify the problem they are solving. As a smart entrepreneur, you can avoid this mistake by first making sure that you are solving a real problem that customers actually have before you define your solution.
3. Know your target market - As you define the problem you are solving, you should naturally be thinking about the potential customers who have this problem.
4. Describe the competition - Don’t forget, that every business has competition. Even if no one has come up with a solution similar to what you are planning to do, your potential customers are solving the problem they have with some alternative.
5. Share who’s on your team - As great as your idea is, only the right team will be able to effectively execute and build a great company.
6. Include a financial summary - for a great pitch, you don’t necessarily have to show a detailed five-year financial forecast. What’s more important is that you understand your business model.
“Business model” may sound like something complex, but fortunately it’s not. All you need to know is who pays your bills and what kinds of expenses you will have.
7. Show traction with milestones - The final key element of your elevator pitch is conveying your business milestones, or your schedule.
Here you will talk about your upcoming goals and when you plan to achieve them. If you have already accomplished notable milestones, you should mention those.

On you will find valuable examples for each of the above steps, which within the activity learners can make good use of. They should now start to use the Paper Collage technique for building up their pitch.

Step-by-step implementation expand_more

To implement this activity, you should use group works and discussions, alongside the Paper Collage Design Thinking technique (The Paper Collage is a Design Thinking tool consisting of the creation of images and words collage, put together on a board in a visual depiction, which is representative of the way participants perceive their present. It can be an individual or a group activity.), through which learners can prepare their elevator pitch.

After learning more about pitching, you can now form groups and engage your learners to prepare their pitch. Here below we present the steps for an elevator pitch. 

There are plenty of resources on the internet that explain what a “pitch” is good for (and what it is not suitable for), how long it should last, what elements it should contain and what you should avoid in order to stay clear of boredom and inefficiency. Tell your learners, that once they have read a few “recipes”, they will have to compile their own rules for the pitches that they will produce and present. You should agree on the length and the most important features! Let them know, that they will work to carve a pitch – one presenting their business idea, or – if they do not have one – they can think about their professional profile.

Watch the pitch from David Arnoux pitching Twoodo

An alternative is also, to identify the below steps in the video they just saw about David’s pitch. If that is the case, you should make sure that they have the possibility to get back to the video if necessary.

Here is the step-by-step guide to present to your learners:
1. Think about a business idea!
Do you have a business idea? Can you think of one? If not, do you know well any start-up (perhaps a friend’s or a family member’s new business) whose values you can identify with? Contact them and try to find out as much as possible about their mission. If you would like, you can prepare a personal pitch too, “selling” yourself to a future employer.
In any of the above cases, you first have to be sure that you have enough and detailed information about the “object” of your pitch. Think about your business idea in detail (like drafting a business plan). If you make a pitch for an existing business, use online and offline resources to gather information about it. If you prepare a personal pitch, review your CV.
2. Learn about “elevator pitches”.
There are a couple of rules you should consider. As you have read the guidelines for a successful pitch from a couple of sources, and watched a successful, even prize-winning start-up pitches on YouTube, make sure you are on the right track by getting back to the Twoodo pitch by David Arnoux. 
3. Work in teams to make your groups’ rules for pitching
You will see that various sources on the internet define pitching in slightly different ways, and also successful pitches are varied in terms of content and length. Therefore, to make sure you can assess the pitches you and your colleagues will carve, you will need a common set of standards, rules. In small groups (5-4 persons), make a list with 7 rules for a successful pitch. (Remember to include the desired length as one of the rules.) Then, in the whole group, negotiate the rules of the small groups so that you have one common list of rules that applies to all.
4. Carve your pitch!
Once you have the idea that you want to promote, and you know what a successful pitch looks (and sounds) like, try to compile your own pitch. Use the tips and tricks that different online sources suggest, both on writing and perfecting your pitch. Just like everything else, pitches can also have some drawbacks. 
Tip: Advise your learners to read about them and avoid them. Practice their pitch before first presenting it in public.
5. Get feedback from your small group
Once you think you are ready with your pitch, present it to your small group and ask for their honest and constructive feedback. Before presenting it, remember what you saw in the pitching videos on how to use your voice and your body language to be more convincing.
TIP: Even though this might require another extra 30 minutes, it would be advisable and useful for learners to let your colleagues video record your pitch, so that you can watch it and learn from your mistakes.
You will receive feedback on your pitch and you will also give feedback to your groupmates, based on the commonly agreed rules (step 3.)
6. Improve your pitch
Based on your colleagues’ feedback and the video recording, improve your pitch and practice more for a better presentation. If you have identified specific weaknesses/ mistakes, you can go back to the internet and search for tips on how to correct them.
7. Present your pitch to the whole group
Present your pitch to the whole group and listen to your colleagues’ presentations. Take notes while listening and give feedback to your colleagues. Following each presentation, discuss the strong and weak points in the presentation, the common aspects and the differences in interpretation.
8. Debriefing 
After the presentations and follow-up discussions you should be able to answer these questions:
- How can you wake your audience’s curiosity?
- Which are the key elements of conveying a convincing message in a short time?
- What are the characteristics of a successful pitch?
- What are the main aspects everyone should pay attention to, when speaking in public?

Make sure you take a look to the related contents to this material, that is:
1.2 Active listening
1.3 Self-presentation
2.2 Critical thinking skills
2.7 Reaching out (to your clients and the world)

Time needed and group sizeexpand_more

TIME: 3 hours (the video links can be distributed to the learners in advance to watch at home and come with questions, feedback if any. In this case you can save some time)
GROUP SIZE: 15-20 persons to be able to make groups of 4-5 people

Materials needed for implementationexpand_more

Internet connection, computer/laptop, projector or smart phones if you are watching the videos in the classroom. 

A3 and A4 paper, post-its and pre-prepared handouts about the steps to follow for preparing an elevator pitch.

A3 paper for preparing the collage or pptx application if they are working digitally.

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