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The Gift of Pitching

Pitching a product idea or a business is a skill that you refine with practice, a LOT of practice. While pitching offers a platform for developing your storytelling and public speaking skills, it is also an excellent tool for rapidly learning, clarifying, and articulating the compelling value of your big idea.

The internet is filled with practical tips for “performing” a pitch. Indeed, you should be aware of these best practices. In my experience, a successful pitch is less about your performance skills and more about the expectations of your audience (things outside of your control) and your ability to clearly, confidently and succinctly answer the following three questions at any given moment (things within your control):

  1. “Who cares, and how do you know this?”
  2. “Why you?”
  3. “So what?”

Answering each question in one sentence and being prepared to back it up is a good exercise in clarifying how you add value to others. It’s not about you. And no one cares about your big idea until they do.

“Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.” ~Desmond Tutu

Kishau Rogers

Kishau Rogers is an award-winning technology entrepreneur specializing in wrangling complexity using computer science, systems thinking, creativity, and common sense. She is the Founder & CEO of Time Study, Inc., a high-growth startup offering solutions for using machine learning, advanced natural language processing, and data science to automatically tell a story of how enterprise employees spend their time and its impact on the areas that matter. As the Founder and CEO of Time Study, Kishau is one of the first Black women in Virginia to raise millions in venture capital to scale her tech startup. She is also the owner of Websmith Studio and the editor of the bigThinking project, a resource for promoting the principles of systems thinking.

Kishau’s work is featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, and Black Enterprise. In addition, she is a recipient of many awards, including the VCU Distinguished Alumni (in Computer Science), NAWBO Wells Fargo STEM award, the Lyn McDermid Community Impact Award, and the MBL Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

In her commitment to using technology as a tool for social good, she also serves as an advisor to organizations and initiatives like AI for Afrika, Think Of Us, WAAW Foundation, Level Up Ventures, Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Computer Science, the first U.S. White House Hackathon for Foster Care and SheHacks Africa, a software engineering intensive providing training to women & girls across Africa.

She holds a Computer Science degree and has over twenty-five years of experience in the technology industry and more than 15 years of entrepreneurial leadership.

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