Monday, November 23, 2015

An idea presentation template based on a 2 minute pitch by The Wand Company founders

A lot of people talk about “Elevator pitch”. But can I really present my idea in 2 minutes? If so, how? Is there a template we can use for such a pitch? In this article I would like to present a template with the help of a 2 minute pitch given by Richard and Chris, The Wand Company founders to investors in the TV show Dragons Den. This template is an extension of an earlier template based on Steve Jobs’ iPod launch speech in 2001.

The pitch by Richard and Chris has all the three elements from the iPod-speech-template - viz. Why-What-How - Why magic market? What is real magic wand? How does it work? However, the pitch has two unique characteristics. One, it gets over in less than 2 minutes (1 minute and 40 seconds). And two, the presentation includes a fourth element – the Ask viz. How much investment do we need from you? Both, the timing and the ask, I feel, are very important aspects of an idea pitch. Here is how it looks.

Let’s briefly look at the four elements:

1.      Why magical products? This has two parts – First, why magic market? How big is it? Etc. They say, “Magic market, fantasy market is huge - Hundreds of millions of people spending billions of pounds each year.” The second part is: Why should we play in this market? They say, “We thought with our combined experience of over forty years of design, development, electronics development we will make some really magical products.” This part took 35 seconds.

2.      What is the product? This is the shortest of the four elements and takes only 15 seconds. They say, “Our first product is a real magic wand. And this is it (shows the wand). It looks pretty much as you expect for a wizard’s wand. And the real magic wand should actually do something. And so with this wand, I can…” And the demo starts.

3.      How does it work? (demo) This part is the longest – 35 seconds – where they demo the product. How it works on a music player, a TV and on a light.

4.      How much investment do we need? In this part they mention when they started the company, how many units have been sold and with the help of the investors how much revenue they can achieve in three years. The exact amount of investment they are looking for is something they mention upfront at the beginning of the presentation itself. Together this part might be around 20 seconds.

Which parts are tricky in this?  First, I think idea presenters need to watch out for the balance between “What” and “How”. They tend to spend more time explaining what the product is about instead of product doing the talking through a demo. Second, idea presenters don’t come prepared with “the Ask” – an important aspect of the last element “How much”.

If you plan a longer presentation, you can include your answer to the first question – What technology does it use? in the “What” part (part-2). This is what Steve Jobs does in the iPod launch speech.
Hope you find it useful.

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