Dancing, Dead Sea Gulls, Nights, Baby Food and Pancakes

What do dancing, dead sea gulls, knights, baby food and pancakes have in common? According to Bill Kenney, from Test My Pitch, who presented at Workbench this April, they are essential elements for a successful pitch.
As you may have guessed, he was speaking metaphorically. Dancing describes the preparedness needed so when you get before the individual(s) you’ll be delivering your pitch to, you can gracefully lead your partners taking in their needs and responses as opposed to be distracted and self-absorbed while you set up the slides, get the audio-visual to work, etc.

The dead sea gull, well . . . I’ll bet that one jumped out at you and you’re still visualizing a dead bird and wondering how you’re going to use this to pitch your plan for a more efficient data collection system to a group of harried CEOs. And that’s exactly how it works: give them a strong graphic representation – one that identifies the problem from your prospect’s perspective – and demonstrates the situation as it exists without your solution. A graphic that stays with them .
By now you’ve probably caught on that you (or your company/product) is the knight. Take that graphic and show how, like St. George, you’re going to slay that dragon (or , to stick with seagulls, clean the oil off the seagull’s feathers and bring it back to life).
Now the baby food. Well, once you and your prospect are happily moving in harmony, and you’ve reviewed the horrors of their current situation and introduced an efficient solution, take the time to present it all in nice, digestible bits. Simple thoughts; short sentences. The measure of a good pitch is if someone can repeat it someone to else.

And the pancakes? Well, in a way, the entire pitch is the pancake. Pitches are like pancakes in that often the first one is the worst of the batch. “You have to pitch badly to pitch well,” Kenney said. It takes time to learn to and hone the combination of skills required for a good pitch, and often the feedback on how a pitch can be improved, or where it went wrong, isn’t given till it’s too late. That’s why Kenney and his company developed a product, Test My Pitch, that allows you to get feedback from neutral coaches before you find yourself in front of a group of potential clients. Click for more information on Test My Pitch .


Purpose & Painting

Friday, June 12, Dr. Ivan Tirado and Elinor Slomba will present Painting Party!, a BYOB Evening of Relaxing, Creative Fun at The Grove from 6:30-9:00pm.  Recently they were both invited to share their views as creative entrepreneurs.  Here is a recap of the original interview with Zef Zen and her team at Creative Chat Cafe:  http://www.entrepreneursthatsoar.com/blog/using-art-and-culture-in-the-entrepreneurial-world-to-optimize-business-endeavors


Ivan Tirado on his teaching approach: My favorite theory in education is social cognitive theory for the fact that we are not born in isolation and we don’t learn in isolation. We learn in society.


You cannot let what other people told you define you and what you think of yourself. I learned this working with a student who had disabilities. Art was the tool that afforded us a breakthrough to seeing what he could do, and he became an excellent artist!  Ever since I’ve been interested in learning psychology and mixing with art.


One of the things that I attempt to understand is how being aware of environmental responses can help you develop and what you’re going to become. When I was 4, I wanted to be a  serious Oscar-worthy drama actor…so I had my first chance as one of the wise men for the school play for Christmas. I practiced, got into character and I’m ready. And I go up there, and I forget my lines…and people started laughing.


So I had to make a switch in my mind and go, “well, maybe I cannot be an actor, but I can be a comedian.” Which led to me to start doing comedy for many years in school and when I went into college, I started working as a radio announcer. I started doing comedy on radio and end p doing stand up comedy for 14 years. So if we are not aware of the responses from the environment, we might misinterpret what is going on. And in many cases, that’s what happens to people. They are not aware of those environmental responses and they try to follow a path that is not theirs. However, this can be an opportunity to discover something else.


Ivan on positive mindset: This starts way before you are born because the baby can perceive the environmental response. The baby can tell if he is accepted or not even before he is out. Then when he is out, there is a direct contact with this environment and he can perceive that support; he can perceive the love. And interestingly, for many of us, the welcome that we got to this world was a smack in the butt…I have seen people at the sculpting and painting parties that we host go from “I can’t do it” to “I made it myself.”

Elinor Slomba on why she founded Arts Interstices: My background is in arts management and I’m interested in how arts and culture can strengthen and empower groups, how groups can find sustenance and meaning by working directly with artists. My services make it easier for groups to tap into artists’ intelligence, their ways of working and their models.


Right after college, I got into arts administration and for about 15 years, I did grant writing and fundraising in pretty traditional ways. Cultivating relationships with foundations, government funders…and inside those organizations I functioned mostly as a facilitator trying to bring the right people into the conversations…so all those pieces will line up correctly. What I found was that across many media, people were stressed and there was competition between fewer resources…it started to feel like fighting for crumbs. I thought: I rather build bakeries!

See more from Ivan and Elinor’s joint interview on Creative Chat Cafe 

Join the party by signing up for Painting on Friday June 12 or Sculpture on Friday, July 10 . Grove Members (and their Families & Significant Others) receive special discounts!

Art of Code: REGenerate

So this is how things happen at the Grove.

Elinor Slomba of Arts Interstices approached Brian Monahan of Monahan Design regarding a plan to pull together Generative Artists from multiple locations and bring their work to the Grove.  These are no ordinary artists, and some don’t even have the word Artist after their name usually.  Some are developers, others musicians, teachers and scientists.

We asked Elinor her take on the partnership.  Here’s what she had to say, “Coders and technologists have different attitudes about creativity and making than traditionally trained fine artists. When Brian Monahan moved down from Bangor, Maine and joined the Grove, the things he was into synced up with some works-in-progress Mike Romano, a writer, and I had been discussing. We then invited others to contribute their ideas.  The response was dazzling.  I’m very proud of the cross-sector intelligence which seems to be particularly rich in New Haven.”

With four floors of media, including facial tracking, generative music, 3D printing, and much more, this promises to be a visually and auditorily exciting

As Brian Monahan says, “There’s something for everyone whether first time you’ve seen something generated from code, or 100th time.”



The Monday Man: Hiatus

Just like any good programming or story, there needs to be an intermission. An intermission that allows the audience to ruminate on what they have witnessed thus far, to contemplate what will happen next, and to allow the performers to take a breath and relax.

So in the spirit of all three, please stand by.

The Monday Man will be back.



The Monday Man: Budget Your Time

We all have heard the expression “Time is Money,” but do we truly value what it means? Do we internalize this statement and live and breathe it, not just recite it out of memory?

The expression is taken from Benjamin Franklin’s Advice to a Young Tradesman, Written by an Old Onean essay written by Franklin in 1748. It is rich of important lessons regarding business and wealth, and the necessity of managing both time and money. I bring this to your attention this morning as I do not think that each of us fully realizes the profound effects of mismanagement of time. Money can always be earned back, but time can never be regained. Just as small expenses add up to large sums, small wastes of times add up to years lost of your life. We must be entirely conscious and aware of our time spent, as each minute and hour can be equated to a carefully chosen brick in the construction of house. What house do you want to build for yourself? What destiny do you want to create for your life?

It is entirely up to you. The words you speak, the actions you take, the time you spend. It all adds up.

Track your time and watch where it goes, as to to quote Franklin, “Waste neither Time nor Money, but make the best use of both.” 

So it is truly all about the Benjamins.