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7 Ways to a Perfect Pitch from our Jury


The AIA Innovation Journey is coming to an end with the Summit just around the corner. This stage is highly important, so it surely is eye-opening to go through a few strategies that could help you pitch your ideas. We have asked jury members from the global themes to give us 7 take-aways on what makes a pitch catchy and what their expectations from a pitch are. These key elements together with the tips from pitch experts will help your presentations stand out.

1. Focus your pitch

To Diederik Karsten, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Liberty Global, a winning pitch needs to be zealous with drive and the look in the innovator’s eyes needs to show him the conviction of their idea. What he recommends is practicing, as practice makes perfect. And most importantly, something to avoid is the “I show you what I know” type of pitch; don’t show off!

‘A pitch needs to have focus, a well-thought and clear story, which is all easier said than done’

2. Keep it clear and easy to understand

Carine de Meyere, Senior Investment Advisor & Knowledge Broker at Future Planet Capital, wants to hear about an idea that can be implemented internationally. Her company is on the lookout for the next Unicorn which can connect minds globally. If you want to be the one to impress her, take note and get connected!

I want to hear about an idea that can be implemented internationally’

3. A pitch needs to be crisp and concise 

What Ivar Wiersma, Global Head of ING Labs Wholesale Banking, sees too often are pitches about activity reporting, which to some extent, bore him; they’re a lot about all the experiences that the given innovator has been and is going through. Change the subject. Talk about the impact and the output of your innovative concept. Talk about proof points of traction, feasibility, viability and desirability. To this jury member, the essence, the content of the pitch is much more interesting. This is because what you say will show the jury a lot about what your next steps are and your pace of learning. If you learn fast, you’ll get to a solution much faster and that’s what your pitch should display. 

A great pitch needs to be crisp, clear, concise and all about the output and lessons learned along your Innovation Journey’

4. Keep your pitch short 

The way Jeannine Peek, the General Director of Dell The Netherlands, talks, is exemplary to what a perfect pitch would look like:

I want the pitch to be short [and] very clear”

5. Explain how you put your idea into practice

Don't just have a beautiful idea without thinking how to put it into practice. That’s not how you’ll win the vote of Anna Collignon, a Lawyer and Partner at Stibbe. Think about all the regulatory, legal rules involved or that may become involved in time and act on that. Address those too. If you have no idea about the regulatory part of your concept, start researching before it’s too late.

In a pitch, you have to explain how you can put your technology into practice; is it feasible? Can you execute the idea?

6. Talk about your team and your market opportunities 

Dagmar van Ravenswaay Claasen, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Adyen, wants to get to know what the concept’s team is like. Another aspect that needs to be addressed in a pitch is whether the concept has market opportunities and specify what they are, think about execution power; is the idea feasible?

In a pitch, I want to hear about the team, market opportunities for the concept and whether the idea is feasible.

7. Show emotion, passion and dedication

Martin Diepeveen, the Education Lead at Microsoft, is convinced that only someone who believes in and embodies that what they sell can win in a pitching competition. So, don’t fake it, because the jury will find out; be yourself! Call to change the world in your theme. And again, if you make mistakes, if you stutter and don’t use particularly beautiful words, don’t worry – a pitch doesn’t have to be perfect to be a winning one – what matters is that the pitch comes from the heart. 

A pitch needs to move me; I want to see emotion, I want to see passion, I want to see dedication.

Here are some solid points the jury wants to hear from the innovators’ pitches. Hopefully you’ve taken lots of notes and should now feel more than confident to pitch your extraordinary idea on the Accenture Innovation Awards Summit. Just remember not to panic; practice your pitch, make sure that it is clear and focused on your story, the problem you’re addressing and why your idea is better than another. Next, think about how feasible your idea is and what your lessons learned are. Finally, and most importantly, give the pitch your all. And make sure that you’re not acting; the pitch needs to come from the heart!



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