Whether explaining your idea in the early stages to friends and family, building a community around your product or pitching for investment — telling a compelling story and getting your message across clearly, concisely and memorably is key.

Effective communications, pitching or storytelling is a core part of the CRL incubator programme, where the startups are getting used to introducing their idea and business to each other, visitors and industry experts on a regular basis.

With all this practice we‘ve already seen some big improvements!

To support the development of these skills we’ve been working with Tim Benton from Amplify, experts in supporting startups develop their key messages, storytelling and building confidence and presentation skills. Alongside this there are also the tools, materials and documents (online media, business plans, prototypes, demos), that should be developed in parallel to support building engagement with different audiences and at various stages of development. We’ve already learnt a lot! You can hear Tim’s impressions and tips from the session here.

Energy, Passion and Getting Personal

Our first session was…… let’s say fairly energetic…..acting out running marathons, alien invasions, hopping flamingos, opera singing and imitating the style of a children’s TV presenter (don’t ask), we let go of our inhibition’s and learnt what it was like again to add more character, fun, personality and passion to our storytelling. Remember why you developed your product, what was the need you were addressing, who are the people it helps and how does it make you or them feel.

Bringing personal stories and authenticity into your narrative can help build a stronger connection with the audience.

Do Your Homework

Understanding your audience and their interests, drivers and levels of understanding is key. Often when you’re close to your product and business, sector specific words and industry jargon can creep in. Imagine you’re trying to explain to a stranger at the pub what you do.

Distilling to Key & Compelling Messages

Depending on the situation you might have differing amounts of time to get your message across and enable people to engage with your story and product, the old elevator pitch still holds true. From 3 minute stories, to 1 and a half down to 30 seconds it’s amazing how time restraints can help to craft a more clear and concise story, getting down to the essence of what you’re trying to communicate. There’s also lots of other advice found online.

We’re looking forward to seeing what the next session will bring!

17/11/2015 written by CRL