Tasting stars – the perfect pitch

When Dom Périgno invented champagne he shouted to his fellow monks ‘Come quick, I’m tasting stars!’.  What an irresistible pitch.  No matter what you do, a core life and business skill is your ability to pitch an idea.

So here are my top tips for a power pitch: dfa009067d12db28196387f0aaf8a00e

  • Pointy: You should be able to pitch your idea in 30 seconds or less.  If you can do this, you have it nailed.  Set the timer on your phone and speak for 30 seconds. You can then prepare a 2 minute version, a 5 minute, 20 minute and even a 40 minute version.  The 30 second one will be the hardest to do.
  • Passion: Let your passion show. Nothing like a pitch where the pitcher doesn’t seem convinced or passionate about the idea.  Most venture capitalists who fund start up companies say they buy the founder as much as the idea and a passionate founder will win every time.
  • People first: Make it about people. Most pitches that make their central idea about technology, can fail to engage the audience.  The 30 second pitch for AirBnB which lets you rent other people’s homes simply says ‘travel like a human’.

For pitch inspiration check out www.pitchenvy.com and their own 30 second pitch is Showcasing the best start up pitch decks.  Nailed!

I would love to hear your favourite pitch ideas, please share.

Blame and shame or credit ? …Mirrors and windows

sachin_tendulkar-normalI am a cricket buff, so I was re watching Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell speech on YouTube, and yes I did feel teary at a point.  What struck me is how his speech was filled with ‘window’ moments.

I first came across the concept of ‘windows and mirrors’ in Jim Collins HBR article on Level 5 leadership.  Collins describes level 5 leaders as humble and they always look out of the window to give credit, sometimes-undue credit to factors outside themselves, their teams, their customers.  Level 5 leaders also look into the mirror when accepting responsibility when things don’t go well, never blaming external factors or luck in this instance.

On the other hand there are leaders who reverse this and to quote Collin look out of the window for factors to blame and preen in the mirror to credit themselves when things go well.

Sachin in his farwell speech was definitely looking out of the window to credit everyone’s hand in his success.  From his father who inspired him to chase his dreams, to his doctors who kept him fit and his legions of fans all around the world.  In the 20 minute speech, he talks about and thanks so many people in his life, always crediting them for their support.  It is both moving and humbling to watch.  What sort of leader are you, or do you want to be?


How much does a hipster weigh?

Black-and-Whited-FixedI received an email this week asking ‘How much does a hipster weigh’.  This was intriguing enough for me to click through. The email was from the gorgeous Studio Pennant designers announcing their move to hipster central in Fitzroy!  What a clever way to announce moving instead of the clichéd ‘We are moving’.

A 21st century business skill is definitely being able to craft compelling email subject lines so your email stands out in overflowing in boxes and gets read and actioned.

To grab attention craft your email subject like a newspaper headline.   One of Seth Godin’s recent posts is titled ‘The rotten fish problem’.  You want to read more immediately, or is that just me?

Play on words and be inspired by popular culture.  There’s a book out on sheds, that is right sheds.  And it is titled ’50 Sheds of Grey’, a clever play on the blockbuster book ‘50 Shades of Grey’.  And of course the actual message in your email must match the subject line, otherwise people feel duped.

Email subject headings need some TLC so people read instead of hitting delete.  So how much does a hipster weigh?  I’m guessing somewhere between a cup of perfectly brewed, single origin, fair trade coffee and a fixie bike.

Would love to hear your thoughts on hipsters and email subject lines…


Driving through the skid…

skid marksMy client Dee tripped on her way to stage to deliver a presentation.  The audience gasped and Dee immediately stood up and said ‘Things can only get better’ and everyone laughed and there was even a smattering of applause at her recovery.

Taxes and death are two guarantees in life, and I will add a third ‘Skids happen’.  While I can’t help you with the first two, I was given a new frame about dealing with the last. Setbacks and how to recover from them.  In my gym boxing class when boxing you come back to neutral position called reset.  Bring both your gloves together before you go off on your next round.  A mental mantra I use to reset, to drive through the skid is ‘The only thing I can control is my response, so let me chose my response’.

Sometime our default position when things go pear shaped can be negative.  So often when one thing goes wrong, people often respond by saying ‘Bad things always happen in 3’.  Imagine replacing that with Dee’s version ‘Things can only get better’.  What are your strategies for driving through the skids of life?  I would love to hear your thoughts.