pitch research results

Exploitation of research results is one of the priorities for Europe.

With H2020 it is more and more important not just to develop new frontier knowledge but to make it available by translating the new findings into “key exploitable results”. Key exploitable results being a new generation of products, processes or services solving current or future needs. To capture value, key exploitable results need to be properly communicated to the right target groups, being them users, SMEs, multinationals, investors, or stakeholders.

While researchers are great presenters at scientific conferences it is often difficult for them to communicate in a short, concise and effective way their research results, capturing the attention of the key target groups. They just fail to “pitch” their exploitable results.

Thanks to the ESIC2 framework​ contract, we come across to more than 360 FP7 R&D project financed by the EC, +1800 results (KER) and +4700 researchers and SMEs. We experience how difficult it was for them to understand customer needs and come out with a sound value proposition; to identify viable Business Models and validate them with users and, moreover, to translate technical specifications into relevant information.

Presenting in an effective and synthetic way, “pitching” requires preparation and a clear understanding on where you are and where you want to go.

Short guidelines

Below, some short guidelines for an effective “pitch” based on practical experience can be found.

Be prepared

Ask yourself Why you want to get attention, What is your objective, Who is the audience, What are they looking for, and How can you best “reach” them?

Clear up your mind on what are you looking for, what type of relationship and how much you need, to do what.

Structure your message

Prepare a catchy introduction; describe achievement to date, present the team; describe the Product / Service and the Target Market. Make sure to illustrate your Business Model. Present some Economic and Financial objectives and, if the case requires, present your Investment plan (how much is needed and to do what). Do not forget to state why your audience should chose you.

Keep it simple and highlight benefits

You want somebody else to understand what you offer. Do not present how (the science) but what (the solution to a need). Features don’t sell — benefits do.

Explain achievements, how you proofed the solution with users, the status of your IPR. Do not describe your H2020 project. It is crucial that the audience understands the “product-market fit”. Feedback from end-users is key and needs to be highlighted.

Make a great delivery

The first seconds are crucial. You have to make an impact by presenting. Your audience wants to see passion, perseverance and profit (benefits). They look for a team with ambitions, entrepreneurial attitudes and focused on delivery. Not just content An effective communication is based on what you say just for 7% of it. How you say it (Style + Voice + Attitude) is 38% and 55% is your Body Language. Use your voice, eye touch, use space. Do not hide behind the podium or look at the screen instead of at the audience.

Do it as you are supposed to

Respect time. If you cannot deliver what is needed in the given time (usually not more than 5-8 minutes, if not less) your audience will think you will fail in keeping deadlines with your services or products.

Revise the presentation together with a visual story (slides) to make sure it emphasizes the highlights of your proposition. Practice and test your pitch “outside the lab” to gain feedback and improve it.

10 TIPS to grab the attention when presenting your Key Exploitable Results

A catchy pitch can be delivered in 90 seconds.

  • Keep in mind you are presenting results not a research project 
  • Avoid slow start (first 20 seconds are crucial to grab attention) 
  • Say what the audience needs to know 
  • Do not forget the “call for action” 
  • Talk to the audience ​
  • Use short clear sentences 
  • Do not speak too fast 
  • Use pauses 
  • Respect time 
  • Practice!


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