Student Presenters

What is a Pitch?

The elevator pitch has long been used to introduce a business, person or idea. The concept is that a person only has three minutes (the length of time it takes to travel from the first floor to the top floor in an elevator) to convey an idea and gain buy in. For RISE:2016, we want you to take the format of an elevator pitch and apply it to your research. We call this the RISE Pitch.

The RISE Pitch should be crafted to succinctly inform judges and attendees about your research topic. Remember, not all judges have expertise in your field, so keep it high level and understandable: this means, no jargon!

Conveying messages online continues to be increasingly vital. With this in mind, the RISE Pitch is integrating a video component. You will upload six, 30-45 second, clips that concisely express your research and capture your audience. These clips then become the foundation for your live RISE Pitch, ready to be delivered, at a moment’s notice, in elevators everywhere!

Uploading your RISE Video Pitch is a must.  The Best Video Pitch will receive a $1000 cash award. However, presenters failing to upload the video suite will have 10 points deducted from their overall score.

The six video clips are divided into the following segments:

  1. Problem
    Introduce yourself and your research topic. Hook your audience by sharing the magnitude of the problem and why you are interested in it — and why they should be! Avoid jargon as much as possible.
  2. Solution
    Concisely describe your proposed solution and show how it can be implemented. In other words, paint the portrait while also drawing attention to key aspects and features.
  3. Impact
    Explain the outcome of your solution. How will it impact society and generate further outcomes. Basically, answer the question: “What difference does it make?”
  4. Competition/Comparative Research
    Provide an overview of solutions currently in the works by others. Include valid reasons why your solution is superior.
  5. Progress to Date
    Where are you at in your research, and what major obstacles have you overcome. This is your chance to highlight successes and accomplishments!
  6. Next Steps
    Outline the near term, next steps for your project. Whether it’s further research, writing a business plan, or seeking external funding, share it, and be specific. This is one place where your audience gets a chance to make connections and potentially contribute to your project.

The length of each clip does not have to be equal. And, don’t feel like you have to “fill up” time; concision and relevance are more important!

Once your video clips are completed, craft them into your live, 3-5 minute RISE Pitch.

Then, PRACTICE. Practice out loud many times: in the shower, at the gym, during commercials, in front of the mirror … you get the idea.

Important Tips

  • Design your pitch keeping a wide range of educated audience members in mind.
  • Avoid jargon at every point. If you can’t avoid it entirely, be sure to explain it.
  • Excite your audience with action verbs. Describe your work in terms of movement and activity.
  • Maintain enthusiasm.
  • Thank them for listening and offer to answer any questions.
  • Make eye contact, smile, and show interest in comments and questions.

Pitch Training

We encourage you attend our pitch training session Hitting Your Target, where you will learn to plan, practice and perfect your RISE Pitch!

Watch the Pitch Training Video Here!