The time for pitching has come.
Here are few things to keep in mind:

This is probably the most exciting part of your event! Make sure you welcome and present the jury well, and applaud loud for every great idea shared on your stage 🙂 

This is the time to get into your jury member role. Listen to all the pitches carefully and assess according to the pre-defined criteria. 

Ou-la-la your team is going to pitch soon! Exciting, right? Make sure to choose the person(s) that will pitch – and follow the steps in the chapter. We made sure to give you all tips and tricks for making an unforgettable pitch. Good luck! 

DevPolHacks are a whirlwind of emotions… and the pitching phase is the most exciting and nerve-wrecking one! The word “pitch” comes from the famous “elevator pitch” – legend has it that it was elevator pioneer Elisha Otis himself that gave the first true “elevator pitch.”It was 1853, and while many buildings were already equipped with elevators at the time, they were considered dangerous, and only as stable as their weakest rope. Otis had a vision for a newer, safer way. But rather than try to sell his invention with complicated engineering-speak, he decided to demonstrate his ingenuity. At a convention center, in front of a crowd of dozens, Otis set up a display of an open elevator shaft, hoisted himself three stories up, and cut his supporting rope with an axe. At first the crowd gasped, but then breathed a sigh of relief. Otis’s stopping mechanism brought his elevator to a safe halt before hitting the ground. In less than thirty seconds Elisha Otis showed the world the value of what he was selling. A pitch is a distillation of your solution’s value proposition. It’s meant to explain what is unique about your idea fast enough to capture the attention of your next prospect.

Every team will get the chance to pitch in front of a selected jury. The usual time is 3 mins pitch plus 5 mins Q&A. Before you start the pitch, make sure to remind yourself of the criteria developed for that DevPolHack. Also, make sure to get to know the jury – so you know who are you pitching to 🙂

How long is the pitch?

The Pitch is 5 Minutes long. That’s around 390-420 words, 27 sentences. Get the story roughly straight, then do a test against the clock. There is a hard cutoff: if you take too long, they won’t let you finish! If you fail to finish in 5 mins while practicing, cut out some content and try again.

How do I create my story?

Brainstorm with Post-its, not PowerPoint, to create the storyline. Leave the software alone until you’ve had time to think. Get the ideas out of your head using Post-Its. Only make slides once you have the storyline clear. This will save you a lot of time, and you’ll get a better overview of the flow of the story.

What does the jury want to hear?

Every DevPolHack has different Judging Criteria; but in general they include:

1. Impact: Solving a real problem, with digital advocacy

2. Innovation: New, novel ideas, context and potential resource limitations considered?

3. Implementation: Can it be put into action? Sustainable proposition? Implementable with the program partners?

4. Presentation: Good pitch? Diverse team, credible story?

How to open a pitch?

Open Powerfully: make the first word count! Don’t waste time on ‘I’m happy to have the chance to share.’ etc. Get into the pitch – what are you solving? What have you done? Are YOU excited about your idea? Practice this out loud. The first seconds are the moments of biggest stress, make sure you’re ready to go!

Don’t overexplain things

Use The Power of Three; stick to the headlines Three minutes disappears before you know it! Don’t get lost in the details. Got 7 things you want to tell them about? Break it down to the most important 3 points. Easier to understand, and to remember!

Finish like a pro!

Don’t finish with a shrug of the shoulders… Finish with a bang! The last 20 seconds are the first thing they will remember about you, your idea and your team. Make a plan for those last 20 seconds – remind what they’ve seen, and why they should choose YOUR idea. Be professional to the last full stop.

Oh… one more thing: Why do YOU believe in this idea? Your enthusiasm counts! Pitching is a great opportunity to share your passion for what you do. Why do you think what you and the team created matters? What’s the coolest thing about what you’ve created? Enjoy the moment!

Pitch Structure

#1 Intro (presented in 15 seconds):

Use this time to introduce your team members and welcome the audience. You’ll always get kudos for focusing on each member individually, especially if you have some sitting in another country.

#2 Problem statement (presented in 30 seconds):

What problem did you identify that is ripe for solving? How big is the problem?

#3 Impact (presented in 30 seconds):

How could we solve the problem by using digital advocacy? What social causes are you going to address and achieve?

#4 Solution (presented in 30 seconds):

Introduce your solution. What unique selling point (USP) does it address?

#5 Demo (presented in 1 minute):

In the interest of time, use visualization tools like Invision to mock up the design, user journey, USP and 1–3 key features for the presentation.

Since you only have 1 minute to show off your solution, don’t sweat the small stuff. There is no need to stress over the details that nobody sees when you don’t need to. This also reduces the likelihood of technical difficulties, which eats up your valuable presentation time on pitch day.

#6 Wrap up (presented in 15 seconds):

Use this slide to re-emphasize your impact and feasibility.

That’s it! You only need 6 slides. When you break it down this way, you can see how fast creating takes —giving you more time to channel your efforts towards the presentation and demo creation.