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Getting better at pitching
4 points by zxed 5 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments
I speak really fast; not because I’m nervous, but when I slow down, I forget what I wanted to say next.

I applied to W19 last year and after we found out that we were invited to meet and interview in person, I wanted to do something to be better prepared at the inperson pitch.

I asked a few people if they would listen to me pitch or answer some basic questions like, what are you working on.

I shared the points and content I wanted to cover beforehand.

The feedback was consistent - “slow down, we didn’t understand half the stuff you said”

So I put together a tool that would listen to me as I practiced and it would figure out what I said. I used it to enunciate better (when I didn’t it wouldn’t pick up what I said), get better at pacing my words, and help verbalize content around keywords.

It’s basically a console app, but as I’m gearing up for to apply for S19 - I wanted to see if this would be useful to others.... I’ve slowly started converting it to a web app and have a bit more work to go before it’s usable by others.

Here’s the link to the upcoming page on product hunt. I’ll post the link here once it’s resdy to try out.


I read an interesting technique for improving presentations: 1. Create an outline, then record yourself pitching freeform from the outline. Practice many times until you get a recording that seems perfect. 2. Then, memorize that recording WORD-FOR-WORD, until you can deliver the "spontaneous" pitch with perfect timing every time.

I can't find the source right now, but I'm pretty sure it was an interview with Donovan Brown talking about his presentation technique @ Microsoft.

That’s actually very close to what my mock ups look like (and what my console app does). The only difference is the word-for-word. I have a hard time recovering if someone cuts me off so I found that keeping track of key points I wanted to make let’s me organically recover (even if it’s slightly different words). So in this app, the first step is to copy-past your 5-6 sentence script. Then select keywords , and then pitch to it :). But yes, awesome insights, do let me know if you find the article. I’m planning on having the first demo version ready tomorrow -

Might be useful to think of the problem like a radio or tv ad. What can you say in 30 seconds that could be memorable or interesting enough to warrant further interest? Write a script and read it into a voice recorder. Then listen to see if the pace is natural. After doing this a few times you should begin to hear the most important aspects shine through. It costs money to have a tv ad. And it might as well be an opportunity cost in real life.

Interesting angle. The tool I have doesn’t record or playback the audio. I’m using a transcribing engine to convert it to text to see what it captures. I figured that if a machine can figure it out, then almost any human can understand what I said.

I then use a summarizing machine learning algorithm to see if the output matches the summary of what I wanted to convey.

This may or may not matter to you, but there's a few startups/apps out there tackling public speaking improvement. Orai, for example. A friend of mine is in a similar space and discovers new competitors all the time.

This is perfect / I was hoping someone would post what’s already out there and that’s really what I was looking for and forgot to ask in my original post.

Unlike Orai, I’m not doing this for $’s - no subscription, no ads, just free... :). It won’t be as fancy, but will give you the same features as I saw on the App Store.

I don’t think I have this problem, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it when it’s ready.

:) appreciate the straightforwardness - it seems like it has limited use; maybe people starting out new in sales or customer support who need to memorize scripts might get use out of it?

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