Experts: Pitching & Storytelling

Ok, so you’re an expert in your field, but now you need to shout about your work. How do you pitch your ideas to a business? And how can you tell stories that explain your work to the widest possible audience? These notes were presented to Assistant Professors at Trinity College, Dublin in May 2019.

Pitching – some basic rules:

  1. Know your audience; what’s in it for them?
  2. Know your facts; what have you got besides a good idea?
  3. Keep it simple: what are the three things you want people to remember from your pitch?
  4. Cut the crap; get rid of jargon, hype and cliche
  5. Tell great stories; about yourself and your “customers”
  6. Keep calm
  7. Practice, practice, practice

There’s a slide deck and worksheets here.

Storytelling – some basic rules:

  1. Know your audience; what are they already interested in?
  2. Make a connection: you are a character in a story, not an expert witness outside the story
  3. Get the basics right; stories work when stuff happens, people care and there’s a moral
  4. Choose your hero; tell stories about yourself and the people you want to help
  5. Tell innovation stories; not just “rags to riches” but “we’re on a journey”
  6. Grab attention; make your stories timely, relatable, unexpected and evocative
  7. Show and tell; make your verbal and visual story work together

There’s a slide deck and worksheets here to help.

Here’s a link to some excellent books on selling your ideas as stories. And plenty more tips on Business Storytelling here.


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