How A Story Can Make A Good Idea Great
Our team make a point of meeting, and having conversations, with members of The Sense Network in person all over the world. It allows us to really live and breathe what is going on in the Network and make sure we’re doing all we can to help them, and our clients, connect, collaborate and develop their own creative intelligence. This week our Director Neil met with a Senser in NYC to lend an impartial ear and help her tell the best, most human story she could to conduct a successful pitch and move to a full trial.
Last week I met with a new Senser in New York; let’s call her Julie. Julie is working on a really cool new idea to help improve people’s physical and emotional wellbeing when they’re in a co-working space.
I can’t share specific details about her project as it’s still in stealth mode, but it’s designed to benefit individuals and businesses. It works on the belief that greater wellbeing will support happier, more fulfilling, more productive work.
Julie has put together a solid pitch which makes clear the problem being solved, why it’s important, what her innovation is and how it solves the problem at hand. She has plenty of robust data and evidenced-based research to support her case. She’s in a position where she has set up a couple of pitch meetings with co-working spaces to trial her innovation in a real-life setting.
These co-working spaces are warm to Julie’s idea based on her brief elevator pitch. They understand the problem and are open to solutions. Julie now needs to get them to really embrace the challenge, create some urgency, show why her idea is an amazing one and get them vested in her so that a full trial can take place.
Julie has all the building blocks of a great pitch but she needed some help to communicate her vision in compelling way.
We discussed how Julie could create a narrative to support her pitch. A narrative that would humanise the problem and her idea for solving it and enable her to connect with her audience on pitch day.
We looked at her existing pitch deck and identified three pillars that her narrative could encompass.
1/ Why is it such an important problem?
This is all about getting the audience to visualise and internalise the problem. Julie needed to make it feel real to them as people. We discussed opening the pitch with some rhetorical questions; pause, give the audience a moment to conjure up an image of the gravity of the problem and allow them to imagine how this problem is experienced “Imagine what it’s like when …”
2/ What if this problem no longer existed?
Having established the need and built empathy for the problem among the audience, we can begin to look to the future. Paint a picture of a time when the problem is solved. We begin to frame a better future and spark thoughts for what might be required to achieve it. It helps to create some energy and urgency that this is a problem that can and should be solved.
3/ How might we create a future where this problem no longer exists?
Not just that this problem is solved, but actually no longer exists. How is this future better than the alternative? What has had to happen for this future to be true? We have begun painting a picture not only of the solution but also the benefits of that solution being realised. This helps move the pitch from a functional review of a new technology to one where the audience is emotionally vested in the future state.
Thinking this way helped Julie shift gear from a functional understanding of the problem and solution to an emotional one.
It enabled her to frame her pitch in a hore human and engaging way; one that she felt confident to deliver because she truly believed in everything she was going to say and the value her audience would experience by listening.
Julie’s pitch is later this month. We look forward to hearing how it goes.
If you’re working on a new idea and would like to brainstorm some ideas for how best to pitch it then get in touch with us at HQ. We’d be happy to lend an impartial ear 🙂
Also published on Medium.