We ❤️ Our Clients!

Our clients are smart people who do amazing work but want help presenting their ideas better.

Click on the tiles below to learn how we helped these teams differentiate from the competition and build better relationships.

The value our clients see is an increase in revenue from winning more deals and retaining clients longer.

Want to learn more about how we can help your team? Let’s chat!


Want to learn more about how we can help your team be more confident, engaging presenters? Let’s chat!

Boulder Startup Week 2019

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Pitch Lab at Boulder Startup Week 2019

We had a blast helping Boulder Startup Week founders use authenticity and vulnerability to punch up their next investor pitch!

If you’re not familiar with Boulder Startup Week, simply put it’s a celebration of entrepreneurship.

It brings all walks of the startup world together who share a common goal: bring to life exciting, valuable and successful companies. And to peacock with loud, flashy socks!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If you missed our session check out this amazing recap via Cal Brackin at On Board Innovations.

Pitch Lab Boulder Startup Week recap

Congrats to Boulder Startup Week on your 10 year anniversary. And keep climbing, Boulder!

3, 2, 1… Xero’s "Laugh & Learn" Public Speaking Workshop!

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Pitch Lab & Xero Team Laughter

Xero’s leadership team believes no matter your role, the ability to communicate confidently and effectively brings real value to the organization.  

To this end, Xero hosts monthly “Lightning Talk Sessions” giving its employees a chance to sharpen their public speaking skills.

In support of this program Pitch Lab was invited in for a special “Laugh & Learn” workshop where attendees had the opportunity to receive actionable feedback on how to improve their timing, delivery and room command.

Pitch Lab & Xero Team pic

After learning Pitch Lab’s Top 5 Public Speaking Tips, it was time to practice and reflect on how these skills can be immediately implemented in their next client meeting.

Comedy Karaoke Ice-Breaker!

Comedy Karaoke Ice-Breaker!

Mitch Hedberg One-Liners — This time with Dramatic Pause!

Mitch Hedberg One-Liners — This time with Dramatic Pause!

Improv Comedy Mirroring Exercises — because all non-verbal communication is good information

Improv Comedy Mirroring Exercises — because all non-verbal communication is good information

Time for reflection about how these skills will translate to more Productive client and team meetings!

Time for reflection about how these skills will translate to more Productive client and team meetings!

What the Xero Team Said About Pitch Lab:

“Pitch Lab was extremely engaging and informative, just what you want to see in a public speaking class! I loved the fun aspect of the program, while still incorporating useful, actionable tips!”

“Pitch Lab was awesome… Improv comedy is a powerful tool to build group mind in a constructive way that really taps into the power of collective thought.”

“I learned that if we focus on other people, we can convert stage fright to excitement. I also learned that pauses allow us to communicate better, and authenticity connects us with our audience better. I love the workshop and I hope we can have more workshops like this.”

“Using stand up comedy techniques in public speaking also helps us foster that human value that we strive to be here. When he mentioned that Google robots use "um" in order to sound more human, that really resonated with me. We shouldn't be trying to present like robots, we should try to be ourselves and just insert enthusiasm and authenticity. I would love to attend more sessions!”

Pitch Lab & Xero Jay contact us

Your audience doesn’t want perfection, they want your connection.

Want to learn more about how Pitch Lab can help your client-facing team differentiate from the competition, build better relationships and win more deals! Let’s chat!

CDPHE Improv Comedy Workshop!

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CDPHE Improv Workshop Main

Communication. Collaboration. Innovation.

These skills are no longer nice to have – they are paramount in today’s workplace.

And they can be learned. 

Pitch Lab CDPHE Improv

We were beyond excited when the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment approached us to produce a team-building workshop.  

It was a fantastic experience getting to know the Children, Youth and Families team because their vision for our engagement together was clear: create a fun, safe environment to promote better communication, collaboration and creativity.

CDPHE 2 line scene improv exercise

Why did CDPHE choose an improv comedy workshop? 

Their leadership understands that teams who take risks perform better than teams who work in a fear-based environment, where retribution for doing something wrong stifles all innovation.  

After all, we live in an unscripted world. If you want to truly be innovative you have to think on your feet, hurl yourself into the moment and improvise.

CDPHE warm up improv

Pitch Lab customized an improv workshop led by Jay Mays & Joel Lutz, focused on three main concepts: active listening, “yes, and” and ensemble.

At the conclusion of each exercise we tied these themes back to CDPHE’s goals — actionable strategies to improve communication, collaboration and creativity in the workplace.

Mirroring exercises to improve communication, be present and drive empathy during interactions

Mirroring exercises to improve communication, be present and drive empathy during interactions

2-Line Scenes to improve problem solving and innovation

2-Line Scenes to improve problem solving and innovation

“NONE of us are as creative as all of us”

“NONE of us are as creative as all of us”

Time to reflect on how these new skills will improve our COLLABORATION AT WORK

Time to reflect on how these new skills will improve our COLLABORATION AT WORK

“Even a bad idea is a bridge to a better idea”

“Even a bad idea is a bridge to a better idea”

Spelling Bee to improve trust, and create a safe space to fail

Spelling Bee to improve trust, and create a safe space to fail

“The biggest threat to creativity is fear, especially the fear of failure”

“The biggest threat to creativity is fear, especially the fear of failure”

What the CDPHE Team Said About Their Experience:

“I really took the ideas such as owning your power, speaking your truth, and being present to heart. Thank you!”

“Loved the opportunity to laugh and have fun with the team. I moved out of my comfort zone and liked it!”

“I loved it was something different than a traditional meeting. At first the workshop seemed like it was just for fun, but there were concrete lessons to be gained.”

“I most appreciated the opportunity to be creative during the day!”

“I loved that it pushed us out of our comfort zone in a way that was affirming and encouraging — while making connections to our work (i.e. how fear kills creativity & innovation) yet also being broadly applicable.”

CDPHE Pitch Lab Improv Comedy

We're grateful for the opportunity to work with CDPHE and are always excited to see improv comedy's "yes, and" approach make a positive impact! 

If you'd like to learn more about how Pitch Lab can help your team leverage improv comedy for creativity, communication and team building, let’s chat! 

Pitch Lab Headlines Denver Startup Week 2018!

Denver Startup Week 2018

The first time I bombed on-stage was a total nightmare.

But my first sales flop was even worse. 

I flew to Michigan to sell a technology I didn’t understand. 

Right before the meeting started, I couldn’t catch my breath. I was light headed enough that I didn’t know if I should stand up or sit down. 

Minutes felt like hours. It was the very definition of death by PowerPoint. 

I knew something had to change. 

Then I started using the techniques I learned as a stand-up comedian: authenticity, vulnerability & breaking the 4th wall. 

Not only did my presentations improve, but I was building real connections. And feeling confident about the value I provided. 

This year at Denver Startup Week Pitch Lab shared what we’ve learned over the past 20 years to help Denver entrepreneurs build better relationships, differentiate from the competition and win more deals!

Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week Improv
Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week Back of room
Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week Applause
Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week Takeaways
Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week Crowd Laughter 2018
Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week Daniel Reskin
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Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week Jay Mays
Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week Stand-Up Comedy
Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week Hysterical Tips

Our Guarantee:

Pitch Lab EOS Guarantee

Creative Inspiration from Comedians @ Integer Denver!

Integer Denver logo
Integer Team Pic Denver Pitch Lab

Integer Denver collaborates with Pitch Lab to get a burst of inspiration from our favorite comedians and brush up on our presentation skills! 

Improv Comedy Pitch Lab Integer

The two-hour session was hosted by Pitch Lab’s founder, Jay Mays and 12-year stand-up comedy veteran, Daniel Reskin.

Pitch Lab integrated techniques from Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Sarah Silverman to teach us how to master voice control, stage presence and storytelling to make an authentic connection with our audience.

Improv Comedy Mirroring Integer Denver

To practice our skills, we tried our hand at comedy karaoke, improv comedy and wrapped up the workshop by pitching... Meat Water. And found out we aren’t half bad!

Meat Water Pitch Lab!

At least… that’s what we think. We’ll let our clients be the judge in our next presentation!

-- Erin Smith, Senior Media Planner, Integer Denver

Integer Denver Fun Team Pic Pitch Lab

At Pitch Lab, our clients are smart people who do amazing work but want help presenting their ideas better.

Want to learn more about how we can help your team? Let's chat!

Stand Up for Science at Denver Museum of Nature & Science!

Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Pitch Lab Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Denver Museum of Nature & Science teams up with Pitch Lab to help scientists improve their public speaking skills!

“What we do is very relevant, and not just to us as professionals,” Nathan Boyless, president of Metcalf Archaeology recently told a group of fellow archaeologists at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. “The stories that we’re discovering out there as scientists are relevant to the broader public and it makes sense to get the message out. You are a differentiator, and how you’re presenting your idea has an effect on how it’s received.”

Nathan was introducing Pitch Lab’s session as part of “Pushing Boundaries,” a three-day symposium for archeologists hosted by Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Alongside presentations like “Re-thinking the Protohistoric Pueblo Economy in Light of Plains-Pueblo Exchange” and “A Zuni Perspective on Bears Ears National Monument,” Pitch Lab was on-hand to help scientists develop new strategies for unpacking their discoveries to the general public, colleagues and stakeholders.

Improv Comedy Mirroring DMNS

“93% of what we’re communicating is actually non-verbal,” Pitch Lab founder Jay Mays explained to the audience as the session got underway. “All information is good information: body language, the voice, the inflection, the eye contact. All of that energy is important.”

Things quickly got interactive with a round of Comedy Karaoke, wherein a handful of participants shared an examples of things that trip them up when speaking in public and then delivered a one-liner from Steven Wright, Mitch Hedberg, or Demetri Martin.

“My goal for public speaking is never saying ‘um’, which I know I do too much,” one attendee shared, before delivering the following quip to thunderous applause: “I’m sick of following my dreams, I’m just going to ask them where they’re going and hook up with them later.”

93% Communication Non Verbal Pitch Lab Jay Mays DMNS

Mays asked the speakers what they felt leading into the exercise. One common answer was “fear,” to which he exclaimed, “That’s ok! I got nervous before this.”

“It’s not about killing the butterflies,” he continued. “it’s about getting them to fly in formation. Try to reframe your nervousness as excitement. The way the body reacts to nervousness and the way it reacts to excitement are very similar.”

Mays was joined on stage by local stand-up comic Daniel Reskin, who reminded the group, “If your heart is pounding, that means you care. If your heart’s not pounding, something is wrong.”

Pitch Lab Scientists Improv Comedy Denver Museum Nature & Science

Mays also said that you can set yourself up for success by never starting until you have the room. He suggested having someone introduce you or come out and start saying “clap if you can hear me.” The duo suggested taking time before your talk begins to introduce yourself to the front row so you can establish a connection with your audience.

Reskin and Mays then took the group through some stage presence tips from Robin Williams—chiefly that the more you practice your presentation the more natural is will seem on stage.

From there, they unpacked strategies for being visible on stage, reducing distractions, and staying present, pointing to a host of beloved comedians for examples of how to deliver material effectively. They also encouraged the group to embrace opportunities to react to the audience, to eliminate “ums” by speaking louder, and to build a cadence that uses pauses the way graphic designers use white space.

Improv Comedy Scientists DMNS

Other interactive exercises segued into the virtues of improv comedy, with participants building empathy by doing mini impersonations of a partner, matching tone and body language. This was followed by a game of shoulder-to-shoulder storytelling, with each person contributing a single word, moving down the line.

“I’m excited to break the fourth wall!” one participant shared, as the session concluded. “Most of us get up and have a script, but I’m going to try really hard to actually get people more engaged.”

The now-giddy archaeologists left Pitch Lab armed with new techniques and some suggestions of where to sharpen their skills: namely open-mic nights and improv groups.

“In your town, if there’s a thing called Peer Review, it’s stand-up comedy by scientists,” added Stephen Nash, Department Chair and Curator of Archeology at DMNS. “I’ve participated twice now and it was the hardest public speaking I’ve ever done. That’s why I fell in love with Pitch Lab: they are spot on about what these kinds of skills will do for your and for your public speaking.”

Jay Mays Daniel Reskin Pitch Lab Denver Museum Nature Science

Want to learn more about how Pitch Lab can help your organization be more confident and engaging speakers? Let's talk! 

Can You Laugh Your Way to Better Public Speaking Skills? @ Inflow

Inflow Denver logo
Pitch Lab Inflow Battery 621

Words Are Meaningless and Forgettable

Have you ever bailed on buying a product or service because you didn't like the salesperson? Have you ever bought something you didn't need because you really liked the salesperson? 

Us too. At Pitch Lab we believe that when it comes to sales, you are the differentiator. Especially in professional services.

We had a blast with Forrest Dombrow and the rest of the Inflow team exploring the power of non-verbal communication to be more confident, engaging presenters:  

 

"Public speaking skills can be incredibly beneficial to just about anyone’s career, including Inflow’s team members who may not speak to large audiences but do regularly present information to potential and existing clients. Often times, public speaking can be a boring topic to delve into but our team recently learned how it can be made much more enjoyable. Enter Pitch Lab!

Last week, Jay Mays and Daniel Reskin of Pitch Lab came to Battery621 to demonstrate how they’ve combined their comedic talents and sales experience to capture the attention of their audience, leverage psychology to keep them on your side, and ultimately close the deal."

Pitch Lab Inflow Comedy

 

What the Team at Inflow Said About Pitch Lab

“I thought the way Pitch Lab used different comedians’ styles to command the stage and audience's attention was very interesting and informative. The key technique that I came away with next time I give a talk to meet the people beforehand to take away the “strangers” feeling and build a stronger connection.”

-- Shaun Elley, Strategist @ Inflow

Forrest Dombrow Comedy Karaoke Pitch Lab

“Even though I’ve given 100’s of presentations, I absolutely learned new techniques at Pitch Lab. The workshop was informative for all levels and most important, hilarious! I highly recommend Jay and Pitch Lab to anyone looking to take their presentations to a new level.”

-- Forrest Dombrow, Director BD @ Inflow

Click here to read the full article on Inflow's Website! 

Inflow Team Pitch Lab Denver

If You Blow the Pitch, You Won’t Win Regardless of the Idea @ Regis University!

Regis University Logo
Pitch Lab Regis Innovation Challenge

Regis University wants its students to be successful on their career path, especially if it's the road less traveled. That’s why the College of Business and Economics created the Regis Innovation Center.

The Innovation Center is a great opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to hone their ideas and build their teams, culminating with a massive Innovation Challenge where entrepreneurs get to present their ideas in front of hundreds of potential investors.

Be a More Confident, Engaging Presenter with Pitch Lab

Knowing that public speaking is a weakness for most Dr. Ken Sagendorf, Professor and Director at Regis University Innovation Center, thought it would be beneficial to equip his entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to “nail” their pitches. 

"You can have a flawless business plan, a marketing strategy that is innovative and unique, but if you don’t know how to convey any of those messages, connect with the audience, portray confidence and really sell the judges on what you’ve been able to accomplish then you are not going to complete that mission. You need to know how to pitch it. Period.

Jay brought a comical and relatable feel to what is arguably the hardest part of this competition. It’s difficult to give a presentation, let alone a presentation that you have poured all your time, love and energy into. They want to get it right, and we want them to get it right too!"

 

Jay Mays Pitch Lab Regis University

 

Why Slack's Origin Story Matters

At Pitch Lab, we believe that when it comes to pitching, you are the differentiator. This is especially true in the ultra-competitive startup world. To this end, we opened the workshop by sharing Slack’s origin story:

In 2008, Stewart Butterfield was an entrepreneur building a desktop game at a time when users were migrating over to mobile devices. Consequently, after only a few years Stewart and his partners made the difficult decision to shut down.

Stewart broke down in tears telling his staff it was over. They then offered the VCs their remaining money back, about $5 million, but were told to keep it and try to build something else with a skeleton crew. 

Why? Because the investors believed in Stewart. Even without a new business plan in hand.

And from the ashes of a gaming company, Slack was born.

The rest is history. 

Dr. Ken Sagendorf & Team Honing Their Improv Skills With 1-Word Stories!

Dr. Ken Sagendorf & Team Honing Their Improv Skills With 1-Word Stories!

 

What Regis University Said About Pitch Lab:

“Jay and Pitch Lab worked with our students and their businesses in the Regis Innovation Challenge.  The difference between their pitches in the semifinals and finals was night and day.  

One student in particular worked a bit extra with Jay. I was in the back of the room the morning of the finals as he practiced, talking himself through Jay’s pointers.  

When he pitched, I was moved to tears at how far this student and his business had come, how well connected his pitch was, and how the pointers Jay gave were integrated.”

— Dr. Ken Sagendorf, Director and Professor @ The Innovation Center

“Jay left our program better than he found it. Not only did all of the startups improve their overall presentation, but those that did not win top prizes went on to be approached by community members to talk about potential outside investment.

I don't believe this would have been a reality without Jay. We're grateful to utilize his expertise, and I hope he continues to be a part of the Regis University Innovation Challenge.”

-- Ethan Lockshin, Director of Regis University Innovation Challenge

Ethan Lockshin Pitch Lab Regis

 

Click Here to read the entire workshop recap on the Regis University Innovation Challenge Website!

Stand Up for Staffing @ Robert Half Technology!

Robert Half logo
Pitch Lab Robert Half Denver

Pitch Lab teams up with Robert Half to help the world's largest specialized staffing firm be more confident, engaging presenters!

“Who knows what the number one fear of the average American is?” Jay Mays asked the room at large. “I’ll give you a hint, the number two fear is Death.” We took a few guesses, including spiders, heights, and even in-laws to a few chuckles.

“The number one fear is public speaking!” He revealed. “According to Jerry Seinfeld, if you're the average American and you go to a funeral, you'd rather be in the casket than give the eulogy.”

Whether speaking to board-room of peers or pitching services to a prospective client, public speaking can be a challenge even for the most seasoned sales professional.

At Robert Half we are constantly working to find the best talent for our clients and the perfect job for the candidates we represent. Making the perfect hire the first time around is critically important, so the ability to present our services and advocate for our candidates is essential in our day to day work.

That’s why we invited Pitch Lab to come work with our team at Robert Half to talk about how to become more engaging speakers using principles of stand-up and improv comedy.

Pitch Lab Stand Up Comedy Robert Half Denver

As a 20 year sales veteran and stand-up comedy producer, Jay Mays brings together what may seem to be very different worlds to help teams have fun while becoming more effective speakers. Alongside Daniel Reskin (named Best Comedian in Miami), they took us through a 2-hour workshop on how to bring our presentation skills to the next level.

Pitch Lab Robert Half Comedy Karaoke

The workshop started with a round of Comedy Karaoke, where participants took turns stating their public speaking goals then delivering one-liners from comedy legends including Steven Wright, Demetri Martin and Mitch Hedberg. After going around the circle and much applause, they asked the participants how they felt on stage.

“I felt like I was going to forget my line” or “I was nervous” were common responses. “That’s okay!” Jay told us. “The goal is not to kill the butterflies in your stomach, you want to get them to fly in formation.”

We learned how the feeling of nervousness is much closer to excitement than calm. Rather than making the feeling go away, we want to re-frame how we think about those feelings in the first place.

Jay Daniel Chris Rock Pitch Lab Robert Half

Jay and Daniel drew many examples of how the great comedians were so engaging.  From Chris Rock's famous use of repetition and stage command to Robin Williams vocal inflection, we focused on actionable tips and tricks to hold a room’s attention.

We spoke as well about how natural pauses can feel so awkward on stage, but that we can actually be much more effective by embracing silence and using it to illustrate a point. Just holding a pause for a beat longer can be a great way of getting people’s attention.

A major topic was the importance of authenticity when communicating to an audience. By telling more personal or emotional stories, we give the audience a glimpse into who we are. We can build trust by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.

Similarly, we discussed how powerful it can be to simply say “I don’t know” to a candidate or customer. That kind of honesty both shows confidence and builds credibility.

Daniel Pitch Lab Improv Robert Half

From there, we explored how to think on our feet with improv games and exercises. A handful of participants went up in front of the audience to tell a “one word story,” where we were challenged to create a cohesive story by taking turns adding a single word at a time.

Pitch Lab Robert Half Improv Comedy

Another exercise brought partners together to imitate the body language and vocal mannerisms of the other. Finally, members of our team did a comedic entrepreneurial pitch on the virtues of Transportation Llamas to tie the afternoon together.

Jay and Daniel left our team not only with valuable takeaways on how to increase our engagement and bring greater value to our clients, but also the tools to continue learning in our own community. From open mic nights to improv comedy groups (and future Pitch Lab Workshops!), there are no lack of opportunities in Denver to practice mastering the pitch.

Robert Half Technology Denver Team Pitch Lab

We left for the afternoon with plenty of laughs under our belts and excited to apply what we learned in our work here at Robert Half.

"Many thanks to Pitch Lab for their awesome work! Our workshop was entertaining, engaging and educational. I highly recommend them for any team looking to improve their public speaking and pitching skills!"

- Ian Maxwell, Lead Recruiter @ Robert Half Technology

Want to learn more about how Pitch Lab can help your team be more confident and engaging speakers? Let's chat!