"What makes a winning elevator pitch?": Keynote Speech of 2 EDHEC professors at the DICOEN9 on 24th June 2017

By Dennis Davy, professors of englisg and Peter Daly, professor and Director MSc in Management Studies at the 9th International Conference on Discourse Communication and the Enterprise (DICOEN9) at Aston University in Birmingham, England on 24th June 2017.

Written on 22 June 2017.


Peter Daly and Dennis Davy, professors at EDHEC Business School specialised in Language and Communication will give a keynote lecture at the 9th International Conference on Discourse Communication and the Enterprise (DICOEN9) at Aston University in Birmingham, England on 24th June 2017.The title of the lecture is "What Makes a Winning Elevator Pitch? Insights from Linguistics, Rhetoric and Discourse Analysis". 

Mastering the 2-minute elevator pitch is a key skill required of anyone who has an idea to sell in a business context. But what makes a pitch successful? An innovative product or service, of course, along with crucial linguistic, rhetorical and organisational features that help the pitcher to persuade the ‘catchers’ (such as bosses and venture capitalists) to invest in it.

This plenary is divided into three parts. First, Professors Davy and Professor Daly present the findings of a multi-dimensional analysis of a corpus of winning pitches from the BBC’s ‘Dragons’ Den’ series, highlighting the canonical linguistic characteristics, rhetorical devices and typical discourse structure identified. Then, they present the results of an analysis of a corpus of English pitches made by French entrepreneurs. After the identification and categorisation of typical mistakes of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation, an error-gravity experiment was carried out; when a panel of native and non-native English-speaking ‘judges’ (including language teachers, businessmen and businesswomen) were asked to rate the relative gravity of the grammatical, lexical and phonological errors they noticed, yielding a wide range of attitudes vis-à-vis the seriousness of particular errors. They will conclude the session by providing research-based practical advice on how individuals can improve their pitching skills and how instructors/coaches can help those in their charge to avoid the common pitfalls and to produce more effective and convincing pitches, in which they manage more efficiently the impression they make on their audience.

The 9th International Conference on Discourse Communication and the Enterprise intitled "From Theory to Application" aims to "to encourage scholars, educators and professionals to think about ways research can inform practice in business and organizational communication, either by offering a lens for the critical exploration of organizational processes or to cultivate effective communication practice(s)".

The participation of two EDHEC professors demonstrates once again  the capacity of EDHEC to engage in "Research for Business" and make an impact on the professionnal world.

 

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