Monday, April 30, 2018

Pitch like a pro!

As you might remember I was in the Skolar Award finals at Slush 2017. This week we will have a little alumni meeting organized by the Kaskas Media. The 2016 Skolar award winner Virpi Virjamo listed her 5 tips for pitching your research idea like a winner.

So here are my 5+2 tips for pitching like a pro!

1. Don’t forget your science!
I think this was the best advice that I got. Scientists tend to oversimplify when they talk about their work to non-experts. But people are smart and they will understand. If you leave your science out, what is left in your pitch!? You are not a salesman!

2. Keep it simple!
Now this second point seems to contradict what I just said in the first point. It is not. You should keep it simple, but do not oversimplify! Easy as that.

3. Practice, practice, practice!
This may sound self evident, but it is important. You should learn your pitch by heart. Be a pro. I still remember my pitch! Practicing is a good advice also to your scientific presentations. (When I gave my pitch at Slush, I made a little mistake and skipped one slide. Since I knew the pitch, I could do it on autopilot and think how to back it up in the end. It was surreal feeling).

4. Take the advice!
When people try to help you, you should listen. And make your pitch better. They will have good ideas. But remember, it is still your pitch and you have to deliver.

5. The structure! Problem, solution, vision.
This is a technical advice, but still very important. I think the structure should be a) problem, b) solution, and c) vision. So first tell what is the problem that you are solving, not the latest thing in your own research. Then give Your solution to this problem. Finally, tell how your solution will change the world.

6. Be yourself?
This is an advice that you are like to get for someone else but me. I say: Don’t be yourself, be a better version of yourself! In my daily life, I’m quite calm and low-energy guy. In a good way. In my pitch, I wanted to give 120% and be super energetic. It worked out for me.

7. Have fun!
Don’t think about $$ or the victory. It will show and you’ll regret it later. Have fun! This is a unique opportunity. Make the most of it!

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