42. From Story back to Pitch


The return of the 10 slides

YOU DID IT. You took to the stage, brought the audience on a journey, and shared your story to the world. Unless the investors in the audience forced their capital upon you, or unless the customers in the audience kept your phone ringing for weeks, it’s time to revisit your pitch deck.

No, don’t wonder why you just spent ten chapters learning about storytelling only to throw that all away to create yet-another standard pitch. That is not the next step for you.

For you, the challenge is now to weave all the topics of the standard pitch outline into your story. For the five minute stories at Fledge, we don’t have time to include all those topics, and no matter how long you have for your story, you’ll likely find that elements like financial projections and competitive analysis are often not needed to excite an audience once you are telling stories instead of pitching.

In the simplest case, you can take the opening of your story and use it for the problem, solution and customer sections of a pitch, then fall back into the standard pitch format for the rest. I’ve seen that done plenty of times and those pitches do manage to stand out above the crowd of pitches.

To stand out further, you need the character of your story to show up when talking about competition, business model, and financial projections. Sometimes this means retelling the story from a different perspective.

For example, in the appendix you’ll find a pitch for a business plan I wrote but never launched: Concrete Battery. This is a company centered around storing electricity. The first storyline I wrote for that pitch was about Jill, an deep green customer who wants to consume only solar and wind power. Jill’s hole is that solar only produces power during the day and wind only sporadically, but she expects lights to work 24/7/365. This is a story many of us can relate to. However, when trying to explain the go-to-market plan and competition, there is nothing to say about Jill.

To have the character make it through every topic, I rewrote the story from the perspective of Chuck, the person at the electric company responsible for implementing renewable energy, responsible for keeping the lights on for his customers 7/24/365. Chuck isn’t as relatable to most audiences, but every part of the pitch can relate back to Chuck, as he is the target customer, he knows the competition, and he is ultimately the hero in his organization if he buys and implements the Concrete Battery products (if only it existed).

For Paniel Meat Processing and Livestock Bank, the on-stage story is told from Herve’s perspective. As those stories get split into two separate company pitches, the characters for Paniel Meat Processing needs to be the meat-eating customers, and the characters for Livestock Bank, the farmers.

Retelling stories from different perspectives can give you more insight into the story itself. If you’ve not already tried telling your stories from the point of view of yourself, your customers, your vendors, and your partners, its time for yet-another variation and iteration, to see which is the best way to pitch your idea.


HardcoverThe Next StepThe Next StepThe Next StepThe Next Step The Next StepThe Next StepThe Next Step



Recent blog posts