Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pitching the Program

Andy, Don, and I met with the athletic director and the head of parks and recreation for a nearby city. They had heard about Project Coach and they wanted to explore a possible collaboration with us. Prior to the meeting, we sent over some materials, a link the website, and several of the youtube videos. We had a substantive conversation and in reflecting on what ensued I was left thinking about how we frame our work in Project Coach

Every organization needs a really sharp, compelling elevator pitch. I don't think Project Coach is there yet. A pitch is concise, simple, and focused. Running a program is the antithesis of those qualities and the nature of our everyday work is complex from the range of outcomes we pursue to the complicated logistics of running an afterschool program. In talking about  PC it's tempting to try and explain everything about PC from how it started, to what we do, to how we do it, to how we understand the outcomes of all the facets of the work.  In reading the above, I think I believe we either need a simpler way to describe our work-- or a simpler program!

In the spirit of trying to learn something from every experience, I find myself turning to that oracle of all knowing: google. I search, "elevator pitch business school" and the first hit is the Harvard Business School Elevator Pitch Builder. The front page reads,

You have one minute to explain yourself, your business, your goals, and your passions. Your audience knows none of these. Are you prepared? Can you present your vision smoothly, enticing them to want to know more?
This will be a good team exercise for us during our Friday staff meeting. Can we collectively build a pitch? What will we learn through trying to sharpen our presentation of what we do and how we do it?

1 comment:

  1. I truly believe in the elevator pitch method. It really helps you present yourself to others. Being able to explain in a short concise way is essential to being successful in any type of venture. I try to image that I am speaking to recruiters, CEO's and Titans of Industry. You should try to think about the strengths of Project Coach. What skills does it have and why this is the best thing on the market. You should try to differentiate yourself from others and present yourself as the best thing since Oprah and apple pie. Try to get to know your audience and tailor yourself to them. You don't need a simpler program just a pitch. Remember to go for the kill.