Throughout our workshop series, one of the things that we’re constantly discussing with people interested in submitting a spark (the pitch) is how to properly word their title and pitch to get the maximum number of people interested in their topic.
We get emails, tweets and messages about it. A lot. So if just knowing that you aren’t alone in your uncertainty helps you feel more certain, then there you go. Problem solved. Now go submit a spark.
If that doesn’t help and you need more guidance, well, read on.
The number one most important thing that you can do when developing your spark is come up with a catchy title. What can you do to make your title stand out?
- Connect on an emotional level. Marketing 101, boys and girls; people make small (and sometimes big) decisions based on emotions. If you can connect emotionally with your title, you’re doing a good job.
- Make it funny. People respond to something that makes them laugh. Hell, even just makes them smile. If you get a chuckle, chances are, you’ll get a vote.
- Make people curious. If your pitch is enticing enough, with just a touch of mystery, then people will vote just to see what your answer is.
Here are some examples of successful spark titles:
- Confessions of a Seemingly Social Recluse
- Teach your kids how to manage money or they’ll move back home when they are 30.
- Bitches Love Candles (And Other Courtship Fallacies)
These titles get the voter a little curious, evoke an emotional response and/or they make people smile.
Your pitch should elaborate on your title and be equally as compelling. No more than three or four sentences though. Seriously, no one should have to read a pitch longer than your presentation. Keep it to a paragraph, yo.
Not to be an asshole, but unless you have something truly revolutionary, people don’t seem to respond to sparks about social media. I can’t say for certain why, but it’s likely because our audience is super media savvy already. They want to learn something new. Teach them your ways!
Also, many of you know the first rule of Fight Club, but Ignite Denver also has a first rule and that is absolutely NO shilling. If your pitch sounds even slightly promotional for your business, your startup or your nonprofit, say adios.
The big question people ask me after that rule, is what if they want to mention their job because it lends itself to credibility? We have no problem with you mentioning what you do for a living or where you work as long as it lends credibility and is not a promotional attempt (trust us, we’ll tell you if it is during the run throughs).
The MOST important thing you can do when submitting a spark is to make it something you are passionate about. Why should we care as much about your topic as you do? Tell us briefly in your pitch, then elaborate in your presentation.
Instead of telling us about what you do from 9-5, tell us what you do that makes your heart soar, adrenaline pump or mind engage. Or just make us laugh our asses off. Either way, you’re golden, kid.
If you have ANY more questions about submitting a spark (which closes THIS FRIDAY, btw), please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.