Dean Owen

5 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~100 ·

chat Contact the author

thumb_up Relevant message Comment

Pitch Day – The Haka



For those not familiar with the rugby let me introduce to you the Haka. This is an ancient Māori war dance used to challenge and intimidate their foe. It was reported that New Zealand soldiers chanted a Haka war verse during the Boer War. In rugby, the most feared and number one team in the world, the New Zealand All Blacks have a history of performing The Haka before matches dating back to 1888.



The Haka is really a sight to see and hear, and is usually met with respect from opponent teams. But in recent England vs New Zealand matches on home turf, the Haka is often drowned out by England fans singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”.


My game is next week. Investors from around the world convene in Hong Kong for the startup conference RISE 2016.

We are prepared. We have had the locker room pep talk. The pitch has, over the months, been refined again and again. All that is left for me to do is perform the Haka.


Whether it is pitching your startup to investors, an interview for a dream job, or a sales pitch to a massive client, mental preparation is crucial. All the preparation in the world and a good night’s sleep will be for naught if you enter that room with even the slightest fear of failure. Your opponents will be on the look out for any signs of weakness. They will crush you as they have hundreds of people before.


My Haka will start as soon as we are done with the formalities. I will not be chanting Ka tū te ihiihi” (We shall stand fearless). No, my Haka is a single sentence that has been refined over and over to have maximum impact. It is the one sentence that will capture the opponent’s attention from the start. If you lose them in the first minute, it’ll be hard to recover. I have spent days, even months formulating my Haka. We had practice runs with virtual accelerators. It usually started with a brief intro of the team, then a product intro. This does not work.


Start with the problem you solve! Start with the gap you fill!  Do not start with boring intros, how you met your co-founder, the lightbulb moment. By the time you have done that, you may have lost them. Draw them in with your first sentence. My first sentence is a question. Something like “If you had this product which solves this problem, would you use it?” 

Make sure the answer is a forgone conclusion. 

If it is not, change your Haka.


Now to put words into practice! Wish us luck!


Dean Owen in Co-Founder of Quimojo, a revolutionary new concept in Global Campus Recruitment.


Finally, one cannot talk about rugby without mentioning the legend Jonah Lomu (1975 – 2015).




"
thumb_up Relevant message Comment
Comments
Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #12

#15
Hey thanks for the share Dean Carlton. Gotta love the Haka!

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #11

#13
Oh yes, humble apologies. (note to self - Must not write about rugby without mentioning the Springboks) !

Gert Scholtz

Gert Scholtz

5 years ago #10

Dean Owen Watching the Haka is spin-chilling. Watching the Springboks stare down the Haka even more so!

Javier 🐝 CR

Javier 🐝 CR

5 years ago #9

CC Juan Imaz

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #8

#10
Thanks Catalina Serrano, Fortunately Juan and Javier have it easy! All they have to say is 11 million users in just over a year and bam, everyone in the room will listen!

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #7

#6
Thanks Laura Melguizo Perez. Make sure they don't lose their voices before they go out on stage!

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #6

#7
this is emotional alright very raw and powerful

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #5

Wow Pascal Derrien, that was intense. Brought back schoolboy memories of singing "And did those feet, in Ancient times, walk upon England's...." (our reserved stiff upper lip equivalent of the Haka"

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #4

#2
Jonah is larger than life. An amazing story. Truly inspirational. We will all miss him. Thanks Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #3

Check this Dean Owen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6Qtc_zlGhc

Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #2

Very cool wedding video Catalina G\u00e1lvez Urrutia. I think I will refrain from the nose kissing VC investors!

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #1

I am always having goosebumps when I watch it, the HAKA performed @ Jona's funeral was very emotional, kamate to you Dean Owen :-)

More articles from Dean Owen

View blog
4 years ago · 2 min. reading time
Dean Owen

Talking Hands

I turned towards my buddy. He made a twisting moti ...

4 years ago · 3 min. reading time
Dean Owen

Midnight in Macau

This was far from a Bond scene. No black tie show ...

4 years ago · 2 min. reading time
Dean Owen

A Speck of Red

The cool and clinical nature of the room offered n ...