How to pitch your elearning project like a startup

Posted by  in E-learning Industry

In a previous blog post, I drew an analogy between an elearning project and how a startup works as they both involve dealing with extremely complex matters such as assembling a team, and developing and executing a strategy in order to deliver a great project, etc.One of the hardest and most important parts of running a startup is finding money to fuel your ideas and product development. Just like in a startup, as an elearning project manager you will need to present your project to your superiors and to your end users in order to get approval on the one hand, and participation on the other.

pitch your elearning project
Presenting your startup to investors in order to get an investment or establish a new partnership is called “pitching your startup” and there are many techniques that can be used to achieve your goal. In this blog post I’m going to illustrate some of the main principles of a startup pitch that you will be able to apply to your elearning project presentation.
Present the pain & explain the value
When creating any presentation for a product you have to keep in mind something very important: products are meant to solve problems. If your project doesn’t solve any knowledge gap or training need of your company or audience, your project will not bring value and it’s not going to be successful.When presenting your project or startup one of the first topics of your pitch should be the problem that you are going to solve, how many people have that issue, how they are dealing with the issue right now, and how you are going to help them with what you created.Once you have made clear what problem you are going to solve, you should focus on presenting the value that you are going to give to the learners, such as the skills or knowledge that they are going to acquire through the course, if they are going to get a certificate, and what benefit the company will get from this project.

Tell a story
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Create a story that people can easily relate to in order to keep their attention locked onto what you are saying; for example, you could create a fictional average employee of your company, describing his normal challenges and needs, and explaining how your elearning project will make his life and career better.

Keep it visual
Another presentation tip is to focus on images rather than text; according to this infographic produced by Wyzowl, people retain only 10% of the text their read, while they tend to retain about 80% of what they see and do (you can also take a look at Dale’s cone of experience to get a better overview of how people learn).

Therefore, in order to make your presentation memorable and interesting,  you should try to make it as visual as possible by either using only pictures, or pictures with little text (i.e. just the headline), and ask people questions in order to create a more interactive session.

Be creative
Not every presentation has to follow a storyline or be linear from start to finish because your final goal is to grab your audience’s attention and there are many ways to achieve this result.

Imagine a standard pitch for a home security application where the CEO presents the product going from problem to solution, team, business model etc… providing all the elements that an investor would want to see and evaluate. That is fine, but now imagine an empty stage, two thieves breaking into the room and the startup product triumphantly preventing the crime from happening, followed by the CEO explanation on the benefits of the product and its features.

Now obviously the second presentation, presuming that the product doesn’t fail on stage, will attract a lot more interest and that is exactly what you are looking for. You should always look for creative ways to express your content, while making sure that you provide all the information that your audience needs.

People invest in other people, not in projects
If you are asking people to invest, no matter if we are talking about money, time or other resources, there’s one final suggestion I can give you: talk about yourself and your team. Explain why you will be successful with your elearning project because, in the end, it is people that are going to implement projects, ideas and elearning courses and people who are going to determine how good the final outcome will be.

When talking about a startup, it is very important to show passion for your idea and you should do the same with your elearning project. If you don’t think that what you are creating will have a positive impact on your learners it’s quite plausible that no one else will, including your managers, so always try to make something that you believe in.

If you are going to present your elearning project to someone I strongly suggest you to take a look at these very successful startup pitches. If instead you still haven’t launched your own project but you wish to, you can activate your 14 day free trial of the Docebo LMS. You’ll find a link to your elearning free trial in the banner below.

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