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THE CURVE | You nailed the Elevator Pitch, then what next?

Welcome to the world of busy people!

Years ago, Elevator Pitch, the technique of using 75 to 150 words in 30 seconds to 2 mins, was invented to help catch the attention of a busy CEO or Chairperson and create interest in a project/ plan, etc. It can be considered as the Twitter version of a business plan/ proposal.

Have you ever wondered what happened next after the pitch?

Should we send a 40-page proposal in bullet points or anything that takes more than 10 mins to skim through? The answer is No! Nowadays we don’t have the luxury of time to do that.

Since we already have the Twitter version, why don’t we send them an upgrade version with more details that help them create a picture/diagram of what we are doing or planning to do?

Let’s say an Instagram version of the business plan, where anyone can easily understand the content by looking at the first nine photos - a Business Canvas.

“There will be never enough.”

I once had a chance to work with a Director in the Hospitality industry who struggled to present his Operational Plan to the group’s Chairman. It was a vast plan, affecting multiple departments, and including all operations, with cross-functional processes. “Just to be safe,” he told me.

Similar issues also happened when I supported my mentees in preparing their CVs. Since they are fresh graduates, they tried to put in their CVs all pieces of information they might found to make the CVs look full.

However, my mentees and the Director as well can not answer a straightforward question: “Do you think the Chairman (or HR) has time to read all these things?

“Less is More.”

My friend, the Director mentioned above, already convinced the Chairman with his initial pitch to let him restructure the company’s whole operation. He only needs to get the Chairman’s buy-in on the results and open doors to various departments, not his approval on every detail/ suggestion inside the plan.

That’s why a high level of overview is needed, and this kind of overview should fit in 1 page, which takes 5 to 10 mins of reading.

The process where we sit together and put his 40 pages operation plan into one single A4 page is fascinating. People might think it will take forever to do the task, but it only takes few hours in reality. That’s why this process deserved a separate section. Toward the next chapter!

Writing the Business Canvas is science.

To understand more about Business Canvas, please click here.

Few tips for writing a compelling Canvas

  1. Always think of the one who will read your Canvas. Who are your readers? What are their needs? What is the level of agreement or the buy-in level you want from them?

  2. Write the Canvas in story mode, starting from Customers to Value and so on to streamline your message.

  3. Input key points only. Don’t bother your readers with too many unnecessary details.

  4. All blocks in the Canvas are related to each other. Tie all loose ends and don’t leave any obsoleted points.

Enough with the academic things, what we did was:

  1. Defined our reader - any Chairman/Chairwoman - who:

    1. only have 5 mins to impress his/her with the one-page Canvas

    2. Have around 30 mins to read, digest the information inside the page, and

    3. Have 15 mins, if possible, for Q&A and agree/disagree with any buy-in level we suggest

  2. Make sure we only put very high-level points into the Canvas

    1. No more than 3 points per block

    2. Points are self-explain, fool-proof

    3. Avoid task-based input and operation details. Any operation issues that happened at two levels lower than the chairman are removed.

  3. Craft a storyline, guide the Chairman from identifying the customers, what they like, how we can satisfy them to improve Revenue, reduce cost, and Build Brand Awareness.

  4. Data, Data, Data - let them know what kind of data needs to be tracked, how, and when.

Not only for business...

...but also for personal development. As mentioned above, I let my mentees use the Canvas to re-positioning themself in the labor market.

By clearly defining the customer (in this case, the company they want to apply to), these mentees know what kind of value they are holding and how to deliver them properly. The canvas also help them see the gap between what employee wants vs. what they have, and help them build an Individual development plan.

Want to know more about this as an individual user of Business Canvas? Contact our team at for an info-sharing session.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- is the flagship team-aligning platform that has been firstly introduced in Vietnam.'s products are exclusively customised for Vietnamese & Asian working cultures. They turn individuals & teams' ideas & innovations into high-impact & organisation-wide actions via designing thinking, infographics, animated video clips, & comics.'s mission is also to revisit organisational & people development models in Vietnam and in the world, with an aim to preparing for purpose-driven leaders & people-centric organisations in the face of fast-changing world of business.

Read more about WEATWORK.CO here

Read more about OKR - Goal Consensus on Business Model Canvas at here


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