Make your pitch

After seeking inspiration and talking to others about your idea, it’s time to prepare a proper pitch.

The Elevator pitch

  • Imagine yourself going in the elevator and meeting a fellow student, who asks you to tell him/her what your research is about…

  • Have only 1-2 sentences, adhering to one of the following two structure:

    While …, our research shows that…
    Despite …, we find that…

The most important thing to remember is that you’re pitching your research with an exciting angle - something unexpected, something that runs counter to your audience’s intuition. This is embodied by the words while or despite above.

The three questions-pitch

  • First, answer the following three questions about your research.

    • (1) What’s new about it?
      • E.g., new data? new variables? new method?
    • (2) Is it useful (and to whom?)
      • Formulate (hypothetical) outcomes of your study to specific stakeholders, such as senior management or policy makers
    • (3) Is it interesting?
      • Simply telling something everyone knows already isn’t interesting (known facts ≠ interesting)
      • Does it get people to say “oh, wow!", or “really? didn’t know!", or “Aha!"?
      • Would you get your friends excited about it?!
  • Then, try to summarize your answer to these three questions in a convincing and to-the-point pitch.

    • Think carefully about who may be directly or indirectly affected by the outcome of your study.
    • Check whether you have addressed many of the reality checks (Figure 1).
    • Don’t overclaim your contribution but make a realistic assessment about how your study may affect different (marketing) stakeholders.

Your pitches won’t be perfect at the first time, so practice it over and over again – until you really become enthusiastic about it!