Design phase:


It’s showtime!

Time to use the skills of persuasion to gain the support of seed investors, business incubators, fellowships, co-founders, and others to help move your product forward. Your pitch should have two dimensions: the visual narrative you create through your slide presentation, and the oral narrative used to tell the story. Lest we forget, it’s about STORY. You’re already halfway there: design process is a built-in story! Empathy maps well to character. Needs map to conflict. Insights and solutions map to transformation.

Marianna encourages you to move into storytelling mode

Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek explains “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” by starting with WHY.

Creating desire in the audience and then showing how your ideas fill that desire moves people to adopt your perspective. This is the heart of a story.Nancy Duarte

More resources:

  • Nancy Duarte is the creative mind behind Al Gore’s award winning graphics for An Inconvenient Truth. Her books Slide:ology and Resonate and her work with TED set the standard for public speakers everywhere.

While there’s no single formula for creating a winning presentation, they all share one thing in common: they move people. Below, experts weigh in with some general guidelines, but your specific instructions appear under Your Mission.

Image: Flickr/sarah ra ra

Captivating presentations

"No more than 6 words per slide!" and other nuggets of wisdom from Behance.

Image: Flickr/tobiastoft

Concise presentations

Get to know the 10/20/30 and other concise business pitch formats.


How to pitch human

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, offers a summary of To Sell is Human, Dan Pink’s guide to pitching.

Image: Brooklyn Bridge Ventures

Venture pitch

Venture capitalist Charlie O’Donnell shares what he looks for in a pitch.

Image: Flickr/mlpeixoto

One minute, six seconds

At one minute, six seconds, this example of an elevator pitch covers all the bases.

We’re investing in YOU above all else. Show us why you’re the one who can tackle this problem, and, equally important, that you would be a fun person to work with for the next few years. Be passionate, and let your hunger and enthusiasm show. Justin Wohlstadter, on selling yourself

More resources:

Create your pitch deck.

You probably don’t have time for more than 20 slides. We’ve put together some questions to consider, but don’t feel you have to address every one of these questions in a three-minute deck.

Record your 1-3 minute pitch video.

If you’re working in a group, choose a spokesperson. You have 2 options:
  • solo address to camera sans slides
  • swipe through slides with voice-over

Get your pitch out there.

Compress and upload your video to YouTube or another video hosting service. In the original Future of Stuff Challenge, all participants posted their videos to a discussion board; if you're doing this challenge with a group, you can decide on the best way to share videos within your group.

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