Remaking the Pitch: Reuse Strategies in Entrepreneurs’ Pitch Decks


Analysis drawback: Examines how Korean entrepreneurs in an entrepreneurship program revised their English-language slide decks for their competitive shows (“pitches”) by reusing content from skilled Communication genres, as well as their own documents and feedback from potential stakeholders in their target markets. Research question: As entrepreneurs learn to pitch ideas to unfamiliar markets, how do they revise their slide decks by reusing content from different professional Communication genres? Specifically, what strategies do they follow when reusing content? Literature review: The professional Communication literature demonstrates that reuse tends to require place in documentation cycles where documents are set in interaction with each other which reuse itself involves rhetorical choices. Nonetheless such reuse strategies have not been examined in existing studies of entrepreneurial pitches in selling and technology commercialization. Methodology: In an exploratory qualitative study, researchers textually analyzed 14 sets of 5 related document genres within the archives of an entrepreneurship program. These genres represented a full cycle of activity: application to the program, initial pitches, initial feedback from program personnel, detailed feedback from representative stakeholders in the target market, and revised pitches. Interviews and surveys of program personnel further contextualize the information. Results and conclusions: Entrepreneurs reused content from skilled Communication genres, together with people who they'd generated and those generated by market stakeholders. However, reuse went simply beyond accepting and copying feedback; as they learned to create their pitch arguments, these entrepreneurs had to weigh this feedback and interact with it critically. This reuse will be characterized as Accepting (repeating verbatim or in close paraphrase); Continuing (extending lines of argument); and Resisting (rebutting lines of argument)- These findings suggest that entrepreneurs would like all three methods as they refine their pitches for their target markets.

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