Pitching your Idea: The Hackathon guide

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Pitching your Idea: The Hackathon guide The no nonsense guide to communicating ideas with clarity and passion Dan Ellis – Rallyteam (www.rallyteam.com) April 29, 2015

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The Goal This is about communicating your idea and the value of your idea

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10 Guidelines for successful pitching

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#1 Grab attention There are a lot of pitches: get attention quickly – you have 10 seconds to develop rapport Example: Lead out with a attention grabbing fact or statistic. Or ask a leading question of the audience.

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#2 Describe the problem Your hack-idea should be trying to solve a problem. What is the problem you are trying to solve and why would I care?

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#3 Get to the point Once you’ve framed the problem – get to your solution Your time is short and so are attention spans

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#4 Show the product Get to the demo quickly – everything else is theoretical. In a three minute pitch – get there in 30 seconds Even a mockup is better than nothing It doesn’t need to be polished and perfect --- It is a hackathon after all!

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#5 Examples are Powerful People relate to stories (Think how memorable movies are!) Ideally, create a scenario with a persona Walk through an example with your solution Paint a picture of how it will be used in the real world

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#6 Tone and Pace Don’t have so much content that you need to rush when you speak Speak clearly and with good pauses for effect Less is more

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#7 Address your Audience Refer to but don’t talk at your slides – Face the audience Look at the judges and establish eye contact

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#8 Be Synchronistic If you have someone driving the demo – make sure that the speaker matches what you’re showing! You must practice being in synch

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#9 Don’t get technical For most solutions describing the underlying technologies doesn’t serve a purpose If it’s relevant, it will come out in the questions

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#10 End Strong Bring the audience home Remind them why it (your hack) matters It’s OK and, in fact, almost preferable to end early

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-- And -- Have Fun! Thanks! Dan Ellis dan.ellis@rallyteam.com @danclayellis