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Archive for the ‘Pitch Event’ Category

Be Interesting

Posted on: January 5th, 2017 | by Bill Kenney

LLV Demo Day 130626If you want somebody to be interested in you then you need to be interesting. Ecosystems and event organizers all around the world are hosting events to attract investors for local ventures. While this is an admirable endeavor it is creating significant marketplace inefficiencies.

What are investors interested in? To generalize, investors are interested in minimizing risk and maximizing return. Yet the events that they are PULLED to have only a small minority of ventures that are investable. This isn’t to say that these are bad ventures. Many are fine potential businesses but most will not grow fast enough or to a significant enough size to give an investor a reasonable return on their capital.

What then makes a venture interesting? What helps de-risk an investment? What will make investors PUSH to be included in your events and community? The answer is simple…ventures with CUSTOMERS!

This is just a quick sample of one of the topics that we’ll be talking about in the January 19 webinar The Entrepreneur Communities Crazy Focus on Investment vs. Customers. Learn more and join us here.

The 3 Big RIPPLE EFFECTS When YOUR TEAM is NOT Set Up for SUCCESS

Posted on: December 14th, 2016 | by Bill Kenney

CTCollegiateBizPlanCompetition14SpringPutting people in situations where they can succeed is the essence of good leadership. When our teams and team members fail there can be many adverse effects. The repercussions can go far beyond those directly involved. Check out this list to see some of the other stakeholders and how they are affected.

For the Under-performing TEAMS and TEAM MEMBERS

  • Their performance spirals down as they see no path to success
  • They disengage and turnover
  • They become anti-sponsors of your organization and you

For the CUSTOMERS and AUDIENCE

  • Poor individual performance leads to poor service
  • Continued poor service leads to lost customers
  • Lost customers leads to negative promotion

For Other TEAMS and TEAM MEMBERS

  • They observe and learn less productive methods and processes
  • They carry more load when their peers and teammates under-perform
  • They get frustrated, disengage and turnover

For SUPERVISORS, MANAGERS and OWNERS

  • It costs you time, reputation and results as team members don’t realize their potential
  • Your sales and revenue declines, customers and reputation are lost
  • Team members will turnover creating production instability and your career path becomes vulnerable

 

Join us for the “Stop Defining Insanity: Set Them Up for Success” webinar on Monday, December 19 at Noon ET. More information and register.

 

About
Test My Pitch – Private communication skill development platform. Think Toastmasters online. Engage, empower and accelerate your communities communication confidence and competence.

Ask us how we can help you successfully democratize pitch event results in your community. Email or call Bill Kenney today at bkenney@testmypitch.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.

Criteria Conundrum: Developing Your Ultimate Pitch Evaluation Rubric

Posted on: August 25th, 2016 | by Bill Kenney

Learn the secrets of high-functioning ecosystems

Watch the webinar recording!

Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Time: Noon – 1:00PM (EDT)

  • Do your judges and mentors misapply your criteria?
  • Would you like more informative and reliable results?
  • Are you challenged to pick the best teams or ventures?
  • Do your final scores inform and educate appropriately?
  • Would you like better judge and team orientation?

Join us for this fast moving and highly informative workshop that will help you create the best possible criteria and judging system for your purpose.

Poor criteria and judge orientation compromises the reliability of pitch event results. When results are reliable participants have reference points to model and improve performance quickly. Learn how with a few simple tips you can create IMPACT and exceptional FEEDBACK for your entrepreneurs!

This workshop will help you:

  • Understand the common challenges and critical success factors
  • Create the remedies that are right for your system
  • Learn what to prioritize and how to do it
  • Develop the best rubric for your needs
  • Select and orient judges appropriately

All participants will receive the Score My Pitch – Criteria Development Worksheet to build your ultimate criteria

Over the last three years, our team has been visiting, interviewing and serving universities and entrepreneurship ecosystems all around the world. We’ve been to more than 500 pitch events and demo days in that time. We’d like to share with you some of the learning and best practices that we are gaining through this experience.

Join us for this action packed and interactive session.

We limit these webinars to 50 participants, so register now to reserve your spot.

A Conversation with Greg Coticchia from the U Pitt Blast Furnace Accelerator

Posted on: July 29th, 2016 | by tmpadmin

We recently had a chance to visit with Greg Coticchia, Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s startup accelerator, the Blast Furnace. In this wide-ranging discussion, we learned about Greg, the Blast Furnace and the “Pitt” Innovation Institute. We also learned about some of the big objectives on the horizon for the Blast Furnace. Greg also shared with us what caused them to adopt Score My Pitch and how it has impacted their program.

Please have a listen. Greg is doing some great work and making quite an impact on student and university success.

About
Score My Pitch is a pitch event judging and feedback system. Harness the wisdom and potential energy in your community. Produce reliable results. Share contextual and actionable feedback. Watch the video. Ask us how we can help you engage and empower your community. Email or call Bill Kenney today at bkenney@testmypitch.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.

Business Plan Competitions are Broken…and What to Do About It!

Posted on: July 27th, 2016 | by tmpadmin

Learn What the Best Organizers are Doing

Watch the webinar recording!

Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Time: Noon – 1:00PM (ET)

  • Is the idea of a business plan outdated?
  • Why do we struggle to attract participants?
  • How do we build a diverse program?
  • How do we create the learning and impact we intend?
  • What model makes the most sense for your program?

Join us for this fast moving and highly informative workshop that will help you improve the engagement and results from your business plan competitions.

 

Business plan (or business model) competitions are fantastic vehicles to introduce the power of entrepreneurship to students, faculty and administration. These programs have the potential to engage students and faculty from every department while at the same time drawing in and re-engaging valuable alumni.

 

Whether you are considering your 1st or planning your 100th business plan competition this workshop will help you:

  • Understand the common challenges and critical success factors

  • Select the model that is best for you and your audience

  • Align the content and format with your institution’s objectives

  • Develop the right event mix for a robust program

  • Choose between business plan and business model canvas methodologies

  • Learn how to engage administration, faculty and students

  • Assure diverse, cross-functional, multi-disciplined teams are formed

  • Build and implement a powerful and sustainable learning model

  • Measure progress and outcomes

Over the last two years our team has been visiting, interviewing and serving universities and entrepreneurship ecosystems all around the world. We’ve been to more than 200 pitch events and demo days in that time. We’d like to share with you some of the learning and best practices that we are gaining through this experience.

It’s Time to Rip Off the Band-Aid and Share Results: Here are 6 Reasons Why!

Posted on: July 8th, 2016 | by Bill Kenney

We talk to organizations every day who are concerned about sharing the results from their pitch events and demo days. Their concerns range from uncertainty of result validity and judging to concerns about inadvertently discouraging the students, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in their charge.

From serving, partnering and associating with thousands of organizers over the last few years, we’ve learned that democratizing results is one of the biggest keys to building community, accelerating your current cohort and improving the starting point and trajectory of future cohorts.

Here are our 6 reasons why it’s imperative that you democratize your pitch event and demo day results starting today!

  1. Participants need to learn how to internalize and action feedback – Customers, investors, strategic partners and employees will not shelter your teams from critical feedback. The best time for your teams to learn how to listen, ask questions and appropriately respond to feedback is when they’re with you. This is a lot like how artists gain from critiquing. They learn how to listen and evolve in safe and collegial environments. It is much better to be “wrong” when a sale or investment is not on the line. Beware of coddling.
  2. Referential learning – While seeing your individual scores and feedback may be helpful, it is abstract. Seeing your scores and feedback in relation to your peer group adds significant context and allows high speed leapfrogging. This context allows participants to model better performers, benchmark relative change and resource those who are moving fastest.
  3. Start ahead – Yes, it’s really amazing that each wave of new participants is asked to start at the absolute beginning. They gain nothing from the previous generations of participants. Democratizing results allows the community, including all future participants, to learn from and stand on the shoulders of previous participants. This also helps take the mystery out of the program, which better engages future participants and allows them to onboard more prepared for success. Competitive runners use democratized results from previous versions of events they will compete in to know how to train, identify training partners and fully commit to events.
  4. Program transparency – Nothing creates judging or process suspicion quicker than cloaking results. Transparency also assures that any weaknesses in the judging processes are found out and corrected quickly. Community trust and integrity are founded on transparency.
  5. All feedback is perfect – While there are some improvements that can be made in most judging processes to improve the utility and utilization feedback, the biggest opportunity is for organizers and participants is to learn that all feedback is perfect. Feedback is somebody’s opinion based on their frame of reference. Anyone sharing their opinion is taking a risk. They do so with an earnest interest in providing valuable insight. Participants need orientation and training before getting feedback. Honoring and respecting all feedback assures a steady pipeline of valuable input.
  6. Do it today, delay is expensive – Waiting only prolongs the work you’ll have to do to shift your culture. With every passing day that results are not democratized, your community and current participants are losing value and potential energy. It’s up to you to break these antiquated Darwinian traditions and propel your community to new heights.

According to performance expert, Lisa Marshall (lisabmarshall.com) “Feedback from others is the fastest way to improve. It’s how we learn and excel. Feedback motivates us and helps us to make course corrections. It’s critically important to understand that the MAIN idea behind feedback is to MOTIVATE behavior.”

Amplify learning, growth and engagement by democratizing your results today.

About
Score My Pitch is a pitch event judging and feedback system. Harness the wisdom and potential energy in your community. Produce reliable results. Share contextual and actionable feedback. Watch the video.

Ask us how we can help you successfully democratize pitch event results in your community. Email or call Bill Kenney today at bkenney@testmypitch.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.

Criteria Conundrum: Developing Your Ultimate Pitch Evaluation Rubric

Posted on: February 13th, 2016 | by tmpadmin

Criteria Conundrum

Developing Your Ultimate Pitch Evaluation Rubric

Learn the secrets of high-functioning ecosystems

Date: Friday, January 22, 2016

Time: Noon – 1:00PM (EDT)

Watch the webinar recording on YouTube

Do your judges and mentors misapply your criteria?

Would you like more informative and reliable results?

Are you challenged to pick the best teams or ventures?

Do your final scores inform and educate appropriately?

Would you like better judge and team orientation?

Join us for this fast moving and highly informative workshop that will help you create the best possible criteria and judging system for your purpose.

Poor criteria and judge orientation compromises the reliability of pitch event results. When results are reliable participants have reference points to model and improve performance quickly. Learn how with a few simple tips you can create IMPACT and exceptional FEEDBACK for your entrepreneurs!

This workshop will help you:

  • Understand the common challenges and critical success factors

  • Create the remedies that are right for your system

  • Learn what to prioritize and how to do it

  • Develop the best rubric for your needs

  • Select and orient judges appropriately

All participants will receive the Score My Pitch – Criteria Development Worksheet to build your ultimate criteria

Over the last two years our team has been visiting, interviewing and serving universities and entrepreneurship ecosystems all around the world. We’ve been to more than 200 pitch events and demo days in that time. We’d like to share with you some of the learning and best practices that we are gaining through this experience.

Join us for this action packed and interactive session.

We limit these webinars to 50 participants, so register now to reserve your spot.

See more webinars on YouTube from Test My Pitch

Questions to Date – Criteria Conundrum: Developing Your Ultimate Rubric

Posted on: January 13th, 2016 | by Bill Kenney

Here’s a quick highlight of participant questions that have already been posed so far for the January 22, 2016 webinar – Criteria Conundrum: Developing Your Ultimate Rubric. For more details or to register click here.

The question we posed
What questions or challenges do you have related to developing the effective criteria?

The responses to-date

  • How do we get untrained judges to use rubrics reliably and quickly?
  • How to override the judges’ own biases?
  • How to have an efficient system that taps into key competencies of students and is easily understood by a diverse judging team.
  • When judges are exposed to multiple pitches back to back, the baseline for how the pitches are ranked starts to shift. If the first team had an strong performance they might be scoring the one right after that a bit more harshly compared to the rest. The same problem if the opposite happens, a weak team making an average performance after have inflated numbers. What happens is judging scores, tallied up end up looking a bit skewed and judges would prefer to discuss the results vs. relying purely on the numerical scores?

  • Are there differences between criteria to evaluate pitch competitions and for adult in class presentations?
  • How do you best create consistency in the application of criteria?
  • How do you get all judges to use the same scale when completing the rubric?
  • How do you adjust the criteria based upon the audience?
  • What are the top 3 steps to creating valuable criteria?
  • What makes criteria effective?
  • As our programs have undergone various evolutions, first starting with rigorous and multiple (maybe onerous) criteria, we have had to “water down” our criteria in an attempt to get more people to take part in a program. This is frustrating and in the end cheapens program value. How do we create meaningful criteria that is both objective and simple?
  • How to communicate criteria so that judges interpret it the way we meant them to?
  • How to picking criteria that are correct?
  • How to adapt criteria to compensate for the natural irrational human factor?
  • What are the most important elements to include in innovator/innovation assessment criteria?
  • We are coordinating two grant processes this year. What are the best practices for judging and comparing proposals?

Responses outside the topic area

  • What is the most powerful opening / statement pertaining to a sales pitch? By whom? Is it used for every sale?

For more webinar details or to register click here.

View our past webinars.

Listening Skill Development Exercises to Improve Communication Skills – Part I

Posted on: December 16th, 2015 | by tmpadmin

These listening skill development exercises are compiled from:

6 Listening Skills Exercises To Promote Stronger Communication
content courtesy of the Udemy Blog. Article written by C. Paris

The act of listening is not the same as hearing. When someone is communicating with you, they want to feel like they’re talking to you, rather than at you, and that can only be done with a set of good listening skills and an understanding of the principles of effective communication in general.

Learn how to become an empathetic, attentive, and active listener with the listening skills exercises listed below. You can also review this guide on the numerous components of the listening process for reference.

A Game of Telephone

Telephone might be considered a child’s game, but it’s actually a very useful exercise in communication that those working to improve their own or their team’s listening skills can benefit from greatly. The rules are simple, but altered slightly to shed additional light on the importance of active listening, and how information can become distorted as a result of laziness, inattentiveness, and passivity… all enemies of effective communication.

To start the game, participants should stand in a line, or a circle. One person begins the game by whispering a sentence to the person after them. This sentence should be prepared beforehand, by someone moderating the game, but it should only be known to the person starting the game. The person who received the messages should then whisper it to the person after them, and so on.

By the time it gets to the final person in the group, they should say the message aloud. The first person will read the sentence they were given, and participants can note how much the two have changed. It’s very unlikely, especially in large groups, that the message has not been altered at least a little bit.

The additional rule teams can add to make this exercise more lucid is for each participant to keep a small note card. After they hear the message – not during, but after – they should write down what they heard, and read it to the person next to them. This way, any slight change in the message is down on paper, and the group moderator can post these note cards up in front of the room. Then, the team can study how subtle changes in word use, slight additions or eliminations, can significantly alter the meaning of any message.

Selective Listening

Selective listening is the act of hearing and interpreting only parts of a message that seem relevant to you, while ignoring or devaluing the rest. Often, selective listeners will form arguments before they’ve heard the full story, making them not only poor listeners, but poor speakers too!

To confront this in a group environment, one moderator should compose a list of objects or ideas, all similar in theme. For example: turkey, lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, cheese, etc. These are all sandwich components, and most people will recognize this. The list should be relatively long, maybe 15 to 20 words, and have some repeated words. For example: turkey, lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, cheese, ham, lettuce, pickles, onion, olives, lettuce…

The moderator should read this list to the group, and then allot them 30 seconds to write down as many words as they can remember. Most people will remember the word that was repeated the most, and a notable amount will most likely write down words that were obvious, but not actually stated in the list. For example: bread, sandwich, or food.

Group Storytelling

A good listener should be able to view a discussion as a whole, and not just its most immediate parts. The group storytelling activity is a fun, potentially silly, but incredibly valuable exercise in active listening and comprehension.

This activity should have one group moderator, who will deliver the story’s first line. It should be something simple, and open for many possible continuations, such as, “So the other day, I went to the store.”

Each participant in the group is responsible for making up their own contribution to the story, a single sentence that logically continues from the last. Meanwhile, the group moderator should be keeping track of the story on a computer or in a notepad, checking each addition for possible continuity errors.

Most of the time, there will be a few additions that contradict previous parts of the story. The moderator should hold out on identifying these until the full story has been written, and can be read aloud to the group. Then, the group can discuss how these mistakes were made, and what sorts of listening skills they should practice to ensure important information is never forgotten.

Additional Listening Skills Exercises

Here are more listening skills exercises that should help you and your team develop the listening skills they need for effective communication. Don’t forget to follow up each exercise with a discussion! Check out this communications guide for some talking points.

  • Read a short story, and have participants paraphrase. This activity is a study in how team members choose to interpret and prioritize certain information over others.
  • Pair up participants, and have one person discuss a hobby or passion of theirs, while the other person is instructed to ignore them. Discuss the frustration that can come with not feeling heard or acknowledged, and review good body language and verbal remarks a good listener should practice.
  • In pairs, one participant discusses a type of location they’d like to visit, giving only subtle hints as to the specific place. The listener will have to pick up on these subtleties and at the end, recommend somewhere suitable for the speaker based on their explanation. The original speaker will confirm or deny the usefulness of the suggestion, and the two will then discuss ways people can stay alert, as a listener, and pick up on the appropriate cues to help them play a more vital role in discussions.

Featured Webinars

Posted on: February 8th, 2015 | by tmpadmin

Come back often.
New webinars will be added monthly.

5 Reasons Why Your Training is Failing…and what to do about it

Building Community: How to Diversify Beyond the Usual Suspects

Business Plan Competitions are Broken…and What to Do About It

Criteria Conundrum: Developing Your Ultimate Pitch Evaluation Rubric

Feedback Failures: Where Feedback Goes Off Track…and How to Correct It!

Huh, What’d They Just Say?

Judging Nightmares…Make your judging reliable and informative!

Listening: The Secret to Powerful Communication

Make Your Pitch Event Kick-Ass

Measuring Impact: 7.5 Questions with Brian Barge from The Evidence Network

Mentee Mayhem

Mentor Magic: Overcome the Biggest Mentor Program Challenges!

Performance Paradox: How to Drive Results While Conserving Resources

Role-Plays that Rock

Stale and Underrepresented: Reinvigorate Your Community (note: Due to a technical snafu, the slides will not appear until the 4:50 mark. The audio should be good though)

The Millennial Paradox

When a Negative is a Positive: Making Feedback Effective

 

See the full library on our YouTube channel