The Pitch Workshop

November 2018 — #Class of 2018/19, #Mai Eggar

The Pitch Workshop

Objective

I was in charge of organising the Business Pitch workshop on 17th of November for our Fellows at Deloitte office Buckley Building this year. This was an opportunity for us to pitch our businesses and ideas to a panel of judges with a broad range of experience and expertise in the startup world. Also a safe environment for us to practise and get honest and constructive feedback from the judges as well as our Fellows on our message, business model and style of delivery. The pitches were recorded.

Result

We had two fantastic panels consisting of 14 judges on the day with a diverse range of backgrounds and expertises who were able to provide challenges, invaluable insights and feedback to each individual fellow. We also closed each session with a round table discussion where the judges shares their stories, thoughts and general advices and guidance on what makes a good pitch, and how to engage with the audience. Our fellows also threw in a surprise at the end when the judges were challenged to give an elevated pitch on their businesses or ideas to win our investment. 

The day went really well and I felt very happy that I was able to help bringing these amazing people together to discuss ideas, thoughts and making new and valuable connections. Speaking to Fellows after the event, I was very glad to hear that they felt that it was useful and practical and they were able to get a lot out of the workshop. The judges were impressed with the quality of the pitches they saw and were keen to join and engage more with SLP events in the future.

Many lessons and insights were shared and key takeaways for me personally was knowing your audience, telling a good story, and being authentic and personable. We are entrepreneurs and our pitches need structure and key information to evidence its viability, but importantly we are pitching to people and what people remember is a good story. 

How I did it

I was solely responsible for the preparation up to and including running the 2 pitch sessions lasted over 6 hours on the day. While it was a great experience for me to put it together I think it would be better if there were 2 people working on this. 

In preparation for the workshop, I firstly reached out to all our Fellows to get an overall understanding of what they are looking to get out of the workshop and also that helped me think of who I should contact to invite to our panels. I also contacted the previous class CEO to find out how it was done last year, any feedback and lessons learned. In addition to leveraging mine and existing SLP network, I also asked each Fellow in the class to reach out to theirs to ensure that we have a wide range of options and variety in terms of culture, backgrounds, and expertises on the panels. I put together a booklet with key information on the judges, each Fellow and their businesses and ideas and shared that with everyone prior to the day so they had time to look at the information in advance to prepare for their pitches.

On the day, I moderated the sessions to ensure that each Fellow have enough time to pitch, to answer questions and to hear feedback from the panel in the timeframe available. One tip here, I quickly learned after the first pitch that we would not have enough time to listen to questions and feedback from every judge, so I stepped in after each Fellow finished their pitch to ask for 3 key questions and feedback from up to 5 of 7 judges. I specifically made sure that all judges get to voice their opinions throughout the session. I also collected the written feedback and scoring from the judges and Fellows and shared that with all the class afterward.  

On reflection, I felt that I could have done a better job of allocating our Fellows into each session so that the feedback they get could be more specific to their field and business stage. I think I partially made up for this by connecting the Fellows with all the judges so they could follow up after the event. 

Thank you to all our Fellows who passionately presented their businesses and ideas, our judges for invaluable feedback and also Steven, Wen, Slava and the Deloitte team for making the day a success!