5 tips for pitching your research idea like a winner

Keep your pitch compact and present it with confidence, says Skolar Award 2016 winner Virpi Virjamo.

1. Believe in your idea.
“Don’t panic. Your idea is good. You’re a finalist: you wouldn’t be if your idea was bad.”

2. Trim the fat.
“Skolar Award made me understand that a research pitch needs to be a concise package. It can’t be all over the place. No matter how many interesting aspects there are to your idea you have to pick the main points and stick to them.”

3. Practice, practice, practice.
“You have to be able to recite your pitch backwards, forwards and in your sleep. Even though the pitch might seem great on paper, it doesn’t necessarily translate well into speech. Practice whenever and wherever you can: at train stations or on the bus. You’ll feel much more confident when you know you can deliver your pitch in any given situation.”

4. Try a different audience.
“If possible, pitch your idea to all kinds of people. Friends, professors, pets. I pitched my idea to my friend’s kids who don’t even go to school yet. Different people pick up different things from your presentation: take advantage of that!”

5. Respect feedback.
“When someone gives you notes on your pitch, really listen to them. More often than not constructive feedback improves your work. It doesn’t matter how many days you’ve spent working on your pitch slides. If people think they don’t make sense, you have to try something else instead.”

Come witness some pitching magic on Dec. 1st when our finalists take the stage at Slush!

Text: Kristiina Markkanen