Sep 162013
Things I learned from Maple Syrup

I like maple syrup because it is a great metaphor. (OK, I also like it because it is sweet and flavorful, because it goes great on pancakes, oatmeal and ice cream, and because they make large amounts of it near our summer place in northern Ontario.) But the thing I like to talk about with maple syrup is that it takes 45 liters of maple sap to make 1 liter of syrup. It’s a metaphor of concentration, …

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Jun 232013
Who were you again?

While preparing for the workshop on pitching that I’m giving later this week, I’ve been thinking about the purposes of a pitch. So far I’ve got two: 1. To initiate a conversation. In other words, to get the other party (or parties) to say “How do you do that?” or “Tell me more.” or “How can I help?” 2. To be remembered. Here’s an example. You’re talking to someone between sessions at a …

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Jun 182013
What do you say to the guy sitting next to you at a conference?

What do you say when someone asks you what you do? What do you say when you want to stand out of a crowd? The first words out of your mouth in these situations (after your name, of course) are usually a pitch. We all have to pitch every day, and, too often, when we’re called upon to do it, we freeze, mumble, and miss the chance to enter into dialogue. And dialogue creates opportunity. Let …

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Jun 112013
Powerful Pitching Workshop in English 26 June 2013

A business pitch, just like a great pick‑up line, is an invitation to further conversation – or, better yet, to further action. However, all too often we end up feeling more like helpless teen-agers than successful businesspeople. We all need to pitch many times a day, whether it’s explaining what we can do for potential clients, selling our best ideas, or generating investment in our startups. Just …

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