Broadband/HD Innovation Lab – day 4

On: November 25, 2006
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About Esther Weltevrede
Esther Weltevrede is a second year Media Studies Research Master student at the University of Amsterdam. Before studying New Media she attended the School of Arts in Breda where she received a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design. She is involved as researcher and coordinator in the recently founded Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam. DMI is dedicated to developing tools and methods for researching the ‘natively digital.’ Since this summer she is a member of GovComOrg, a foundation dedicated to creating and hosting political tools on the Web. Currently she is a part-time teacher Information Visualization at Master Editorial Design, Utrecht School of Art, and part-time teacher Public Design at Interactive Media, Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

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Day 4 is the last day before the big pitch on Friday. Frank Boyd introduces the day with a session on what to think about in the presentation. Today is about pitching. Pitching is about inner preparation, outer preparation, clarification and thinking about the question: at what point did the project pitch you? After this short session the teams go back to work and prepare their presentations. Today all experts are again available for the teams. Frank Boyd and Huib Schwab visit each team for a first rehearsal and to talk about inner drive and values.

Inner preparation for a pitch is finding out what you’re weaknesses are and what you’re strengths are. Some characteristics one can think about in finding out strengths within the team are passion, over all vision, being able to assemble a team, improvement, overcoming all obstacles, and a will to win. Think of each other’s strength and distribute roles within the team for the pitch. Pitching is about being able to communicate; about knowing when and how you are persuasive. A second topic that should be addressed in the context of inner preparation is stress. How well do you deal with stress? What are strategies to deal with stress? First of all: prepare well. A second strategy is to focus 1 sentence at 1 person at a time during the presentation. This makes the audience more personal and it also creates audience involvement. The third strategy is in the line of the second: make eye contact. When you make eye contact you are not reading; you are present. Therefore it is important to always think about the subject you’re talking about instead of reading it from notes. Also, don’t distribute written documents; Than the audience is reading and there is still no eye contact. A final strategy is not thinking about the stress in a negative way, but learn to make use of the adrenaline of stress.

The outer preparation for a pitch is first of all about congruence; about you being in agreement with your project. How you dress during your pitch influences the content of your project. It reflects your project. It reflects how you see your project. The presentation as a whole should stylistically reflect your content. Secondly Frank Boyd refers to American research result’s that show that 93% of what’s being remembered is body language and only 7% is words. These statistics are probably exaggerated, but it is important to keep in mind other things like body language. Thirdly it is important to know whom you’re pitching for and what they want. It is about researching your market and adjusting your pitch to press their buttons. The fourth topic is about introducing yourself and your company: keep it short and simple. Only talk about what’s important for the project’s content. The final advise is: don’t get distracted. If the person you’re pitching to asks a question during the pitch there are a few things you can do: you can answer the question or come back on the question after the presentation. What you decide to do depends on what you think is best. It is a communication process and it can be good way to get people into pitch, but can also distract you.

All teams should be very clear about their project, why they do this pitch (money, jury, Media Guild, etc.) and why the jury should give their money to them. Finally the teams should keep in mind the main criteria of the jury for tomorrow’s pitch. Which are the NABC, Broadband/HD, cross media, innovation, context Media Guild, and idea and execution of it.

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