Jillian Manus’ Advice: To Accelerate, You Must Communicate

August 8, 2017 | Pitching

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I’m a big fan of the new podcast The Pitch, from Gimlet Media.

I’m fairly new to podcasts, just starting to listen to them consistently over the past several months. So I’ve found myself eagerly on the hunt for podcasts around topics I’m interested in.

This Spring, I was working toward the big pitch event that I took part in as part of Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development’s Top Gun Program. I ended up winning the Portland pitch off with my presentation of Branding Compass. I’ve been on the back-end of pitches, helping my clients with their pitch decks (usually for investor meetings, not live pitch contests), but pitching my own business was something new.

So, of course, The Pitch podcast caught my eye.

Here’s how they describe the show, in case you haven’t heard it: A show where real entrepreneurs pitch to real investors—for real money. In each episode, we take you behind closed doors to the critical moment when aspiring entrepreneurs put it all on the line.

In this season that has been picked up by Gimlet Media (Note: The first season had a little different format), startups are recorded pitching to a group of investors. It’s a little like Shark Tank, with several different VC investors listening to the pitches, but the energy in these meetings is not quite so harsh.

Jillian Manus is one of the VCs on the show, and definitely my favorite. I always find her feedback to be very on target; but also delivered in a caring way. If the founder is open to hearing her advice, she will give him or her so much valuable feedback in a short amount of time, even if she doesn’t invest.

Here’s a clip from the introduction that is used to highlight Jillian’s experience and expertise.

I love her Canadian accent, but if you didn’t listen to that 6-second sound bite, here’s what she says:

 

In case you haven’t seen the home page of our web site recently, we’ve summarized our value proposition as: We help complicated brands clarify and communicate their message.

Working with our clients, being part MCED’s Top Gun program and listening to The Pitch, all confirm for me that many founders cannot talk effectively about their product or service.

  • It may be because your expertise is in an area other than communications.
  • It may be because you’re too close to the product.
  • It may be because you’re still building and pivoting.

But until you can figure out how to talk about your product, you will have a problem accelerating.

Let us know if we can help you with key messaging, web site content or your pitch. Sometimes an outsider’s approach really helps everything become clear.

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