Preparation pays off.
One of my clients is the EPFL Innovation Park (EIP). Located on the campus of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, EIP has provided start-up coaching and acceleration for more than 20 years. EIP has teamed up with several key players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem of Western Switzerland to offer entrepreneurial training programs mandated by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI). I teach public speaking for business in two of CTI’s courses.
Last month, I worked with a group of 30 entrepreneurs one evening. I went over the elements of a good sales pitch and discussed how to prepare a pitch that makes an impact. Part of the session was devoted to giving the participants an opportunity to practice their pitches.
One of the entrepreneurs who tried out his pitch was a young engineer named Bastien Rojanawisut. He had not prepared very much for the pitch. Not surprisingly, the results were predictable. The pitch was unfocused and not very effective. The class participants and I gave him feedback, and I went over some of the things to think about when preparing a pitch.
Bastien took the lesson to heart and got to work on his presentation. The other day, he sent me the following message on LinkedIn:
Kudos to Bastien for learning a lesson a from the first experience, working hard and completely turning it around. I particularly like his astute remark that just because a presentation is short, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need a lot of preparation. Indeed, you need a lot of preparation because it is short.