One of the really useful things about being involved with JISC-funded projects is that you get to take part in programme meetings and they often lead to finding out about interesting tools that I probably wouldn’t otherwise have come across. So last week I was with the STELLAR project team that went to the programme meeting for the ‘Enhancing the Sustainability of Digital Content’ programme meeting, and we were introduced to the Harvard Business School Elevator Pitch Builder tool. For anyone who hasn’t come across the ‘Elevator Pitch’ the idea is that you have the length of a journey in an elevator (lift) to make your pitch, for your project or idea. The thinking being that you might be in a lift with the Vice Chancellor and he asks ‘what do you do?’ Essentially it is a tool to get you to structute and organise a succinct pitch that gets across the key points of what you want to say.
Harvard’s Elevator Pitch tool gets you to create some text to answer WHO, WHAT, WHY and GOAL, then analyses your pitch in terms of the number of words, time it will take to say and how many words are repeated. The tool suggests suitable words that you might want to use to get the attention of the person you are speaking to. It’s a good tool to use to get a nicely structured pitch for a project.
JISC programme meetings are a really useful part of being involved in a JISC project. You generally get the chance to find out at an early stage what the other projects in your programme strand are working on (in our case a range of digital content, from UK Web Archive big data through to archaeology, geospatial and botanical content). That can be really useful as you can find where there is common ground and make a lot of useful contacts amongst people working on similar things. So we’ve got a few contacts to follow up in the digital libraries area. And JISC programme managers are really useful people to know as they have a great breadth of knowledge of what is going on in several areas of work.