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How we won $20,000 in a business competition

How we won $20,000 in a business competition

🏆 How did we win $20,000 at a recent business competition?

Last weekend, we were invited to pitch No Story Lost at our old business school. There was $29,000 in prize money available. 

The week leading up to a pitch is always full of work, preparation, practice, and some nerves. As we thought back to our favorite pitches we've given (and seen), we came up with a short list of things to do to give ourselves the very best chance we could.

Here are 3️⃣ things we focus on to try to win pitches and contests:

📚 Tell Stories:

We have a rule whenever we have a microphone. If you're not telling (relevant, interesting) stories, get off the stage.

🎯 Judging Criteria:

If the judging criteria isn't explicit, ask for it. Once you know it, ask "How can I make it *easy* for the judges to give me full marks on this?" for every category.

🤓 Authenticity:

Judges and audiences can easily smell when you're fake. Be radically you.


A little good luck helps, too :)

Having great content, practicing your pitch, and anticipating questions you'll be asked are just table stakes.

Want more? Here are some tips from BDC on pitching to VCs.

Share a link to this post with someone who has a pitch or speech coming up!

What are your top pitching tips?


Thanks to everyone at Tiny and Peter B. Gustavson School of Business (esp. Mia Maki and Ashley Campbell) for making the event happen, and of course thanks to the judges - Andrew WilkinsonRasool Rayani, Rajiv Khaneja, Nicole Smith and Jason Warner - for believing in No Story Lost.

Feeling very fortunate and grateful!


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