Fake it

Fake Steve Jobs was a huge hit.

We had a very interesting session of Pitch Practice today. Thanks again to the folks at Atlanta Tech Village who continue to encourage and support this weekly meetup. Today, the Web Development Immersive (WDI) students from General Assembly took a tour of ATV, had lunch at Startup Chowdown, and then stayed for Pitch Practice. So we had more than 30 people in attendance, and moved the event to the event room, rather than the room we affectionately call the “Pitch Practice Room”.

When we have a group like today’s WDI students attend Pitch Practice, I always go into a little more depth than normal. I don’t go PitchCamp deep, but I give a solid 10 minute explanation of the origin of the meetup, how it works, why it works, and the construct we use to take entrepreneurs from lip-biting messes to great speakers.

Then I ask the usual question: “So who will be pitching today?”

One of the students asked something that stopped me in my tracks: “Can we pitch something that’s made up? You know, fake?”

Awkward silence.

Sure! Why not. Then it occurred to me that pitching a fake idea is probably the best practice you could ever have for learning how to pitch. Heck, most of the time, when we pitch a really early idea, we’re making stuff up anyway, so we might as well make the whole exercise fictional. It reminds me of the break time at Startup Riot in 2013, when Sanjay got 3 volunteer software developers on stage to pitch “WiFi Cat” totally blind. They had to make it up on the spot.

This method can apply to just about anything you’re trying to learn to do, specifically, blogging or writing code. Just make something. Practice making things. Practice writing stories. Practice pitching imaginary products.

When it’s real, you’ll be ready.

What do you think about that?

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