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White Papers and Elevator Talks

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This is a discussion of how to present your intellectual interests to others who ... A discussion of creating the most compelling presentation of your interests is ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: White Papers and Elevator Talks


1
White Papers and Elevator Talks
  • Jack Gelfand
  • Director of ORSP

May 6, 2008
2
PRESENTATION OF YOUR SCHOLARLY OR CREATIVE
INTERESTS
  • TWO CRITICAL SITUATIONS
  • Elevator Talk - Decision of interest
  • White Paper - Decision to entertain a formal
    request

3
PREDISCLAIMER
  • This is a discussion of how to present your
    intellectual interests to others who may be
    interested in funding your activities.
  • BUT dont let the quest for support dictate your
    research.
  • ALWAYS work on the most creative, forward looking
    topic you can find.
  • APPLY YOUR PASSION FIRST - Figure out how to
    support it as you go along.

4
ELEVATOR TALK
  • Also called an Elevator Pitch
  • A short, informal presentation
  • 6 floors on an elevator
  • Potential donor
  • Reviewer
  • Employer
  • Contact
  • You have their attention, but there is a hard
    limit on time.
  • They initiate the discussion
  • You initiate the discussion

5
  • Only the essential points
  • Crisply and effectively presented
  • Compelling
  • Creating an elevator talk in anticipation of such
    a situation is a very useful exercise.

6
MOVERS MEET SHAKERS AT THIRD ANNUAL GATHERING OF
BILL CLINTONS GLOBAL INITIATIVE New York
Times, October, 2007
Bjorn Larsson,… who serves on the board of the
Worlds Childrens Prize for the Rights of the
Child, made what he called an elevator pitch
between the 15th and 18th floors of the Sheraton
to a man who he said advised major American
philanthropies. The guy was so intrigued that we
decided to meet 10 minutes later in the lobby,
Mr. Larsson said.
7
ELEMENTS OF A GOOD ELEVATOR PITCH
  • Hook
  • Core
  • Close

Carlson Wilmot, Innovation, Crown Business
(2006)
8
THE HOOK
  • Start with a compelling statement about what you
    are doing.
  • Severe winter weather costs our economy 300
    million dollars each year.
  • I have applied an exciting new approach to
    3-dimensional art.
  • We have a huge supply of coal but there appears
    to be no way to circumvent pollution problems in
    coal gasification.
  • Our economy continues to suffer cyclic credit
    problems
  • Many US industries continue to have a need for
    marketing people who are fluent in the Chinese
    language and culture.

9
THE CORE VALUE PROPOSITION
  • NEED
  • APPROACH
  • BENEFIT
  • COMPETITION

10
THE CLOSE
  • Dont leave without an action item.
  • Would your foundation be interested in a proposal
    on this?
  • Can you suggest someone in your agency who I
    might discuss this with?
  • Can I give a talk to your research group on this
    topic?
  • Can you help me move this program forward?

11
Most people, academics especially, get stuck in
the approach. Too close to the problem
12
TYPICAL ACADEMIC ELEVATOR PITCH
The HOOK Need DETAILS OF PROBLEMS WITH THE
METHOD No Conclusion
13
This is a guide. Presentation order and which
elements are stressed vary greatly according to
the type of activity and the circumstances of the
discussion.
14
WHITE PAPER
  • One or two page summary
  • Introduce your work to someone
  • Requested by interested party
  • Desired response to an elevator pitch
  • Thats interesting. Please send me a 1-2 page
    letter describing your project.
  • Agencies sometime require in advance of proposal
  • Letter of interest
  • Request full proposal if interested

15
WHITE PAPER CONTENTS
  • Short Summary
  • Need
  • Description of the problem
  • Approach
  • Preliminary results
  • Expected results and benefits
  • Comparison with others
  • Personnel
  • Time table
  • Budget
  • References
  • Each needs to be mentioned briefly.

16
As with an elevator talk, there is a great deal
of latitude in preparing a white paper. It also
depends on what is requested.
17
If I am to speak ten minutes. I need a week for
preparation….. If an hour, I am ready
now. Woodrow Wilson
18
PREPARE YOUR WHITE PAPER IN ADVANCE
  • Always have an updated white paper.
  • Keep it on your computer desktop
  • Start with an abstract of a paper or poster.
  • Update it with new material as it becomes
    available.
  • Keep it in nearly final form that requires 30
    mins or so to finalize.

19
BENEFITS
  • Great benefit to the conduct of your research or
    creative activity
  • Thinking about the presentation of your project
    produces a clearer view of what you are doing.
  • Forcing yourself to explicitly articulate your
    plans demands clear thinking about how you should
    proceed.

20
A discussion of creating the most compelling
presentation of your interests is related to the
central issue in fund raising.
21
THE SECRET
22
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23
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24
When thinking about writing the check, the focus
shifts to the manager of the funding program and
the process inside the agency or foundation
25
The program manager of the agency or foundation
must have a clear view of what your project is
about and how it fits into THEIR program goals.
26
TWO THINGS THAT YOU WILL NEVER EVER HEAR IN THE
SAME SENTENCE
  • I dont know what they are doing
  • dollars

27
FUNDING AGENCY GOALS AND ORGANIZATION
  • Agency and foundation programs have topics and
    goals
  • Small number of grants to cover each topic
  • Program manager must report progress in terms of
    the program organization
  • 15 minority scholarship programs in the Northeast
  • Two collaborations with African Universities
  • Three plays on historical topics
  • Three different methods to determine the
    cosmological distance scale

28
LONG-TERM STRATEGY
  • Find a label that distinguishes your approach.
  • Teach everybody who will listen.
  • Own it.
  • Make it part of an agencys program.

29
POSTDISCLAIMER
  • Finding funding is important, but dont let it
    dictate your demeanor as a scholar.
  • Always be
  • Professional
  • Constructive
  • Honest
  • Enthusiastic
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