5 champion tips!, Personal efficiency
Samba Nor Diaw is alone on stage. The focus is on him. He begins his speech in front of about fifty people. Just 24 years old, this professional basketball player wants to revolutionize sports data. He is one of 11 young people selected for the competition organized by the “Initiative France” support and funding network.
Founded in 2021 by Samba Nor Diaw, DataDunk offers technical solutions for sports performance measurement. The young company plans to equip five professional basketball clubs and then test connected tracking and video equipment for handball, hockey and volleyball. “I aim for major basketball championships in Pro A and Pro B, and even 3×3 competitions at the Olympic Games,” dreams the young entrepreneur.
To achieve this goal, Samba Nor Diaw has multiplied the pitches since the beginning of the adventure. “My first speech shook me,” he recalls. At that time, he was still a student. Since then, the entrepreneur has learned a lot. For the pitch competition, he even benefited from coaching. Initiative France sent Sonia Josse, the founder of Talâme, who supported the creation of the business.
Samba Nor Diaw defended DataDunk against 10 other finalists, working on his argument and stance. Question fear, he was already armed. “I’m used to mental preparation and managing my stress,” says the professional basketball player from Union Caen-Hérouville. This sports experience helps him a lot in his daily life as an entrepreneur. After a day of training and passing in front of a panel of judges, he won the competition, which was awarded with an envelope of 5,000 euros. Here are five tips for becoming a pitch master.
1 – Learn about the game
Each speech depends on the interlocutor in front of us: an investor to raise money, an entrepreneur or the public for fame and visibility. “If I have to present a project to an expert in the sector, I will focus my presentation on more technical information, such as data transfer speed,” notes Samba Nor Diaw. The entrepreneur does not hesitate to use analogies to simplify his speech and compare his offer with existing services. “The pitch can be professional, technical or emotional,” adds coach Sonia Josse.
2 – Help
Rehearsing a pitch, whether it’s in front of a competition jury or an investor, can be stressful. “You should be proud of your baby,” says Sonia Josse. The coach gives an example of the field structure. First step: grab your audience’s attention with a catchy phrase, such as a number. Step two: explain the project’s purpose and market opportunities. The last step: explain the reason for this speech in this place and at this time. A structure adopted by Samba Nor Diaw, the winner of the competition.
3 – train, train, train
His speech, he worked on it for a long time, especially in his “considered too fast” diction and technical jargon. “I had a hard time finding the right balance between a pitch that’s too technical, which loses everyone, or too simple, which loses credibility,” says Ghalib. Just one word for a professional basketball player: practice. With Sonia Josse, she repeated her “white pitch” several times to respect a limitation, time: two and a half minutes, not a second, to present her project, her goal, and win the jury’s support.
“The main thing is that you know what you are trying to convey,” emphasizes the coach. He admits that the technical complexity of the Samba project is challenging. “You have to talk like you’re talking to your grandmother to promote your project. For less technical projects, he recommends adding the external economic benefits of the proposed product or service to the discussion.
4 – Occupy the land
We abandon the overly academic presentation in favor of a simple image. “It allows the project to be realized and to get an idea of it,” said Sonia Josse. The candidate should also pay attention to his posture. “You shouldn’t move too much so you don’t lose focus,” he said. Sonia Josse also recommends looking at the entire panel of judges during the presentation and regularly glancing at the audience.
5 – Avoid technical failures
There are no negative turns on the field. This is the golden rule. “We should avoid saying that some stages will be difficult,” says Talame’s founder. Similarly, it is not advisable to present your project with your arms crossed or your hands in your pockets.
If that doesn’t work, he reminds us that it’s important to manage failure: “Competition either wins or allows us to learn, expand our network, and be seen. Depending on the interlocutor and the context, the noise remains a single speech. It’s all about “showing you’re the pilot of your box,” concludes Sonia Josse.
After the victory, Samba Nor Diaw returned to the field. The entrepreneur prepares a fundraiser. The visibility gained through this competition allowed him to get in touch with some investors.