#2: Phil Waknell

Episode 2 - Phil Waknell - The Perfect Pitch

Before diving into startup storytelling, we wanted to first step back and focus on one of the most important parts of startup creation.  You could argue that it’s not as important as the concept itself, but without a pitch, moving forward is going to be a struggle.  

For starters, you need to pitch the idea to others to get them onboard with your idea.  You need to pitch others - or even amongst yourselves - to do a lot of work to build a prototype so you can go out and pitch others, to get customers or raise money.

Pitching doesn’t come naturally for most so for many, it’s such a painful and forced process, that there will be only one pitch.  Talking with potential partners?  Here’s our pitch.  Potential investors?  Oh good, here’s that same pitch.  Prospects?  You got it, here’s the pitch.  It’s difficult coming up with that pitch masterpiece so surely it works for every situation, right?

If you thought that your pitch wasn’t all that important and that you only needed one, you really need to listen to our guest Phil Waknell, Chief Inspiration Officer at Ideas on Stage.  Phil has coached countless people for pitching, including students at some of the Grandes Écoles in France, startup incubators such as NUMA and Share-It at StationF and numerous corporate accounts including Microsoft, EDF, Orange, Sanofi and beyond.

Phil explains the critical components that are needed for your pitch as well as why you need not just one pitch, but many.  If you want to have a successful pitch, each pitch must speak to your specific audience, which is important to consider beyond just your pitch, as you grow your business.

Learning this process is often more difficult for technical founders, who put more value on the technical aspects of their startup rather than the marketing side.  It’s true your technical solution needs to be solid, but it’s a mistake to undervalue the critical nature of your pitch.  If you fail to connect with your audience, it’s going to be difficult to get the to listen to your cool new offering.

Remember, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all pitch.  In fact, as we will discover during our podcasts, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all in the startup world.  We always need to know our audience and speak to them, not a generic person.  Nobody explains this better than Phil, so enjoy!