Request a Demo

Blog

Archive for the ‘Entrepreneurship’ Category

Practice, It’s Not Just for Olympians

Posted on: August 15th, 2016 | by tmpadmin

Lavern practice

With the Olympics in “full on” mode at the moment, a post about practice seems like a perfect topic. Bobby Knight, the one-time Olympic basketball coach from Indiana University said “The key is not the “will to win” . . . everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.”

Imagine if your professionals, students or entrepreneurs could execute their communication like a gold medal winning Olympic athlete competes in their event. How much better would your team perform? Imagine if they could articulate a podium worthy value proposition, class presentation or venture pitch. Imagine if they could connect with the audience and compel them to action. Would they sell more? Would they get better grades or a better career path? Would they raise more money?

Indeed champion athletes and award-winning performance artists embrace volumes of focused practice to assure peak performance. While the numbers vary considerably by sport and art form, athletes and performing artists practice somewhere between 2-50 times more than they play in actual games or perform shows. They train physically and mentally, they do dress rehearsals and walkthroughs and they focus on specific skills some days and the entire game or performance others.

Practice is safe and collegial. Practice might also be competitive to replicate a game environment or opening night performance. The championship is not won in practice, but it can be lost by how we practice. Practice helps individuals evolve from conscious competence to unconscious competence. The best practices see performers stretching beyond their current skill set to manifest higher levels of ability.

Watch this brief video where Michael Jordan shares his thoughts on the importance of practice.

Athletes and artists who don’t practice, don’t play. Practices are mandatory and integrated into the performance process. Practice is not only a base requirement, it is essential to maintaining and evolving skills. The emphasis on practice doesn’t stop when athletes and performers move from junior levels to the Olympics or professional ranks. In fact, practices get longer, harder and more sophisticated as performers mature towards their peak. Specialized coaches, trainers and consultants are hired to maximize performance at the top levels.

So here are a couple of challenge questions, if your team isn’t prepared and communicating at a gold medal level:

  • What’s your team’s practice to performance ratio? Remember top athletes and artists practice 2 to 50 times more than they play and perform.
  • Do you have a method to diagnose each individual’s skill and performance gaps? Left to our own devices, most of us will practice our strengths and ignore our weaknesses. Identifying and overcoming deficiencies is where major performance leaps occur.
  • Are you providing good benchmarks and references? While each individual understanding their performance and growth opportunities is important, this information is abstract. Seeing their performance in comparison to peers and past performers creates even better reference points. Sometimes it is hard to improve until you know what better looks like.

As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Greatness then is not an act, but a habit”.

About
Test My Pitch – Private communication skill development platform. Think Toastmasters online. Engage, empower and accelerate your communities communication confidence and competence.

Ask us how we can help you improve your team’s success through practice. Email or call Bill Kenney today at bkenney@testmypitch.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.

Business Plan Competitions are Broken…and What to Do About It!

Posted on: July 27th, 2016 | by tmpadmin

Learn What the Best Organizers are Doing

Watch the webinar recording!

Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Time: Noon – 1:00PM (ET)

  • Is the idea of a business plan outdated?
  • Why do we struggle to attract participants?
  • How do we build a diverse program?
  • How do we create the learning and impact we intend?
  • What model makes the most sense for your program?

Join us for this fast moving and highly informative workshop that will help you improve the engagement and results from your business plan competitions.

 

Business plan (or business model) competitions are fantastic vehicles to introduce the power of entrepreneurship to students, faculty and administration. These programs have the potential to engage students and faculty from every department while at the same time drawing in and re-engaging valuable alumni.

 

Whether you are considering your 1st or planning your 100th business plan competition this workshop will help you:

  • Understand the common challenges and critical success factors

  • Select the model that is best for you and your audience

  • Align the content and format with your institution’s objectives

  • Develop the right event mix for a robust program

  • Choose between business plan and business model canvas methodologies

  • Learn how to engage administration, faculty and students

  • Assure diverse, cross-functional, multi-disciplined teams are formed

  • Build and implement a powerful and sustainable learning model

  • Measure progress and outcomes

Over the last two years our team has been visiting, interviewing and serving universities and entrepreneurship ecosystems all around the world. We’ve been to more than 200 pitch events and demo days in that time. We’d like to share with you some of the learning and best practices that we are gaining through this experience.

Your Startup’s Pitch Needs Only These 10 Slides

Posted on: June 8th, 2015 | by tmpadmin

Courtesy of Inc. Magazine.

Guy Kawasaki shares the layout for a perfect pitch.

Pitching your startup to investors just might be the most nerve-wracking aspect of starting your new business — well, besides the prospect of losing your shirt.

I get it. The last thing you want to do when you’re sleep-deprived and edgy and suffering startup angst is pitch it over… and over… and over again. It’s actually a pretty helpless feeling, asking strangers to decide on the fate of your new venture. If it’s your first or second venture, there can be a real learning curve, too. It takes time and feedback to get it right.

Presentation guru Guy Kawasaki has put together an infographic that can help make your pitch both more effective and less painful.

Click here to see the infographic.

See, you really only need ten slides – anything more and you could be overdoing it.

You want to grab their attention and inspire them to ask for more information – you don’t need to give away the farm during your pitch.

If you go over every aspect of your startup in painstaking detail, Kawasaki says, you lose sight of what’s truly important. Limiting your pitch to ten slides forces you to really home in on your selling points and convey them concisely.

Click here to read the full article.

Featured Webinars

Posted on: April 6th, 2015 | by tmpadmin

Come back often.
New webinars will be added monthly.

5 Reasons Why Your Training is Failing…and what to do about it

Building Community: How to Diversify Beyond the Usual Suspects

Business Plan Competitions are Broken…and What to Do About It

Criteria Conundrum: Developing Your Ultimate Pitch Evaluation Rubric

Feedback Failures: Where Feedback Goes Off Track…and How to Correct It!

Huh, What’d They Just Say?

Judging Nightmares…Make your judging reliable and informative!

Listening: The Secret to Powerful Communication

Make Your Pitch Event Kick-Ass

Measuring Impact: 7.5 Questions with Brian Barge from The Evidence Network

Mentee Mayhem

Mentor Magic: Overcome the Biggest Mentor Program Challenges!

Performance Paradox: How to Drive Results While Conserving Resources

Role-Plays that Rock

Stale and Underrepresented: Reinvigorate Your Community (note: Due to a technical snafu, the slides will not appear until the 4:50 mark. The audio should be good though)

The Millennial Paradox

When a Negative is a Positive: Making Feedback Effective

 

See the full library on our YouTube channel