How to pitch through stories • Spark

JOANNA WRITES: on Monday the 9th of November I was invited to spend a day with a group of interactive documentary filmmakers. They came to London from all over Europe to soak up wisdom and support from their IF lab coaches. My job was to give them some tools to help them make a positive impact on potential collaborators and funders.


As I was getting set up I heard that the previous day they met with techies and coders essential to all their project ideas. There was a moment when two of the filmmakers started to explain their project to a tech guy. They thought they had built up some rapport so they started to talk about the project, ‘…it’s about the survivors of suicide.’ At that moment the guy they were talking to turned around picked up his computer and that was that. I can kind of understand his reaction it’s not an easy subject to engage with. So I knew pitching this project was going to require an especially sensitive touch if it was every going to be turn ears on rather than off.


Here are a few tips from the workshop.


  1. Know your audience. What do they care about? What do you know about their previous work? How do they view you? What pressure do they have? Where have they been prior to speaking to you? Then keep going. The more you know about them the more you can connect your ideas and project to things that matter to them.


  1. Be clear about what you want them to do as a result of what you say, e.g. exchange contact details, meet again or discuss funding. But don’t stop there also consider how you want them to feel and what you’d like them to be thinking about after you have spoken.


  1. To add more vividness to you pitch experiment with metaphors. They can accelerate the time it takes to get your idea across. Especially important when you have only got a few moments to make an impression.

For more information about If Lab and the project now being developed visit their Facebook Page