The new company pitches covered a range of dialing living. From haircuts and saloon services, to usually activities one could experience on vacation as well as a new way to remember and recommend your favorite dish while eating out. While the audience was receptive, each was here to listen and provide candid feedback. My evaluation of the evening could be summarized in three ways.
Some presented blossomed in the spotlight while others did something quite different. While a few raised the energy in the room, for others the outcome was a play on an old quote; “Hot-Air-Boaster collapses in front of you; you shake your head over Mischief-Maker.” (Psalm 5.5)
The good ideas filled you with hope and a sense of possibilities. You knew they had a chance of working. You could feel the birth of something that could be successful. It was more than just the presentation. The ideas were bigger than the person presenting them. At they landed, you knew you wanted to be a part of it all.
As good as the comments were, not everyone can or will listen. While I did not hear words of jealousy, criticism, or the negative, the reaction of those under examination was, on occasion defensive. They did not need to be, but they were.
As we gathered afterwards, it was interesting to watch the winners of the night do something quite different that the less successful. The winners went after the observations and comments. They looked for more understanding and ways to improve what they were doing. As good as they were, they reminded you they saw your feedback as a priceless gift. They listened, they tried to understand, and they took notes.
On the morning after, the follow-up notes are already in my inbox. Every note is from the presenter of a winning pitch. Whatever I might think now, I know they will be better and more, as well as be stronger in the days to come. Even as I come to this community as a mentor, I realize I would benefit from taking notes.