MBA Students Learn the Art of the Pitch @ CU Boulder Leeds School of Business!

CU Boulder Leeds School of Business Pitch Lab
CU Boulder Leeds School of Business Pitch Lab

In a unique, professional development workshop, Leeds MBA students learned how to harness public speaking techniques used by their favorite comedians.

In collaboration with Dr. Peter McGraw, Pitch Lab helped incorporate communication, creativity, and charisma lessons into CU’s already stellar Marketing Management course. 

“These skills are valuable for your pitch and in the real world – business schools tend to overlook these lessons,” explained Professor Peter McGraw, who considers these skills essential to the MBA student experience at Leeds.

"A presentation can have good content, but it can still be dry. I wanted to give students the opportunity to learn about the importance of engagement in their presentations.”

Peter McGraw Leeds MBA CU Boulder Pitch Lab

What CU's MBA Students Said About Pitch Lab:

“The Pitch Lab guys are engaging, funny, and, most importantly - practical. They provide valuable public speaking tips that can be used to improve presentation skills and life in general.” -- Cory J.
“Simple, engaging and brilliant stuff for anyone who talks.”-- Vijay Y.
“Outstanding workshop. Ideas presented in an easily digestible way that the audience can then put into action. Excited for my next presentation to put these ideas to work!” -- Hank P.
“Pitch Lab made me excited to get up in front of people and share my ideas!” -- Elizabeth S.
“Pitch Lab should be mandatory for anyone who has to or wants to open their mouth.” -- Eddie M.


Click here to read the full article on CU's Leeds School of Business MBA Blog.

Pitch Lab @ Women Who Startup Headquarters!

Women Who Startup + Pitch Lab
Women Who Startup Denver Pitch Lab

Working with Lizelle and Women Who Startup was one of the highlights of our year!

Not only did Toni Mays kickoff the workshop with a story about the importance of women in leadership, but we had the opportunity to share the stage with comedy great Nancy Norton

It was so much fun learning from Nancy's 20+ years of stand-up comedy experience and hearing her amazing personal stories about comedy legends like Mitch Hedberg, Dane Cook and Ellen DeGeneres! 

"Together Jay and Nancy led us through a brilliant, fun and engaging evening workshop that gave everyone  many new perspectives by using comedy as a powerful tactic to not only engage an audience of any size but to also practice a completely new way to present information with a different tone, tempo and outcome that many have never even considered."
Nancy Norton & Jay Mays Kicking Off Comedy Karaoke @ Women Who Startup HQ

Nancy Norton & Jay Mays Kicking Off Comedy Karaoke @ Women Who Startup HQ

What Women Who Startup Said About Pitch Lab...

"Jay has such a unique background as a salesperson and a comedian that all his experience and advice are so fresh and on point. He really delivered (unlike most other people who give textbook advice but don't have any stage presence). Thank you so much for sharing your stories. I was completely hooked the whole time."
- LinDan N.
"Jay and Nancy were great! This fun and useful workshop included specific strategies for engaging your audience and taking control of the room when presenting which I will definitely put into action!"
- Elizabeth S.
"Comedy Karaoke was a brilliant exercise that helped many break through their fears of public speaking and very quickly created comradery amongst a group of strangers."
- Lizelle V.


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


Click here to read the entire recap via Lizelle @ Women Who Startup

How To Be A More Confident & Engaging Storyteller @ General Assembly!

General Assembly logo Pitch lab
Pitch Lab General Assembly Denver Storytelling Workshop

In this workshop hosted by General Assembly Denver, Pitch Lab helped a diverse group of professionals from DaVita, Monarch and Company & Ibotta learn how to be more confident, engaging storytellers.

Tim Shisler, founder of RackFocus, was on hand to share a decade worth of startup storytelling experience he's gained from working with organizations like Techstars, Denver Startup Week and TedXBoulder

Kylie B Kicks off our Storytelling workshop at General Assembly Denver! 

Kylie B Kicks off our Storytelling workshop at General Assembly Denver! 

First we dove into the essential elements of telling a great story including why you need to keep your setup brief, the power of segues and the importance of authenticity + vulnerability to build trust.

Then Tim took the stage to share examples of how Amazon and Twitter use vibrant details to make their stories memorable. And how Hollywood stories amp up the drama to create captivating scenes as illustrated by the Square Peg in a Round Hole scene from Apollo 13

Ibotta crew workshopping their personal stories 

Ibotta crew workshopping their personal stories 

After a brief breakout session, attendees practiced crafting their own personal stories and received actionable feedback from Tim on how to make their next presentation more memorable.

storytelling GA denver Pitch Lab
Tim Shisler Pitch Lab GA Denver

All the attendees shined in their final presentations and in closing out the workshop Tim reminded us that storytelling is a process and pointed to Ira Glass' fantastic quote on why great storytelling takes time and hard work. 

Public Speaking: Terrifying or Terrifyingly Funny? Pitch Lab @ Moore Communications Group

Moore Communications Group Pitch Lab
Pitch Lab Moore Communications Group

Pitch Lab joined Moore Communications Group for an afternoon to improve pitch delivery while intertwining interactive exercises to build new strengths for their customer facing team. The workshop concluded with a few brave members of the MCG team being put to the test by presenting a humorous, fictional product pitch for 3D Cheese Printers!

Together we broke down stand-up comedy techniques the pros use on stage to help MCG team members be funnier and more engaging during their sales pitches (minus a few of the dramatics and most of the profanity).

Not only did the exercises elevate their public speaking skills leaving them with actionable takeaways, but it served as a fun event that united the team by forcing vulnerability.

What The MCG Team Thought About Pitch Lab:

"I would recommend this workshop to any company. It was the best professional development workshop I've ever taken in my 8 years of experience in my current industry. Jay was extremely personable, smart and kept my attention the entire time. It made the entire learning experience a memorable one." - Marissa

"The Pitch Lab team was great to work with. They were informative, funny and made everyone feel comfortable. For a very dreaded topic (public speaking), the workshop allowed everyone to be involved and excited to get their turn! I would highly recommend to any company looking for a fun team builder." - Danelle

"Pitch Lab does a great job merging comedic relief with important concepts that make learning informative and fun." - Stacey

"Given my fear of public speaking, I never would have imagined having so much fun practicing pitching in front of my co-workers. We're excited to put the key takeaways to use in our next client pitch!" - Ashley

Ladies and Gentlemen... Jay Mays & Tommy Y!

Ladies and Gentlemen... Jay Mays & Tommy Y!

Whether you’re pitching a product or service or trying to convince your significant other how much you need that Harley or pair of Gucci pumps, our pitch tips can help you get that ‘Yes’ you’ve been hoping for.

Read the full article via Ashley Brafford on MCG Insights

Pitch Lab at Thrive Workplace ft. Ben Kronberg from Comedy Central!

Thrive Workplace Logo
PitchLab in Oct 2017

On a somewhat standard Tuesday, a group of salesmen, entrepreneurs, and creative minds gathered at Thrive Workplace to learn about and practice public speaking.

What made this Tuesday special was Ben Kronberg from Comedy Central, Late Night with Seth Meyers & Jimmy Kimmel Live was on hand to break down stand-up comedy techniques the pros use on stage to help these Denver professionals be funnier, more engaging speakers at work.

Between the basics like breaking the 4th wall and dramatic pause, to the more advanced concepts like improv and storytelling during sales, attendees got to practice telling jokes, improvising and mirroring one another. 


What Attendees Said About The Workshop:

Who would have thought that stand-up comedy and pitching share so much in common? Jay and Ben deliver a slew of invaluable tips and tricks to improve your public speaking ability in a fun (and funny!) way. 
— Kevin C. @ Amazon
Great workshop that helped develop my confidence while speaking in public or for during sales presentations. I strongly recommend for all sales professionals! 
— Doug K. @ ServiceNow
Jay and Ben were really engaging and fun! This is a great program for anyone who wants to understand how to incorporate comedy into your pitch and can benefit from discovering exactly how to command and maintain your audience’s attention. 
— George B. @ BentlyBaths
Ben Kronberg Pitch Lab

If you're interested in learning a thing or two about public speaking and incorporating humor into your pitches, join us at our next event!

Til then, enjoy this photo of Ben Kronberg and Jim Gaffigan's comedy love: 

Ben Kronberg Jim Gaffigan

Pitch Lab Headlines Denver Startup Week 2017!

Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week

2017 marked Denver Startup Week’s 6th birthday and a record breaking 18,900 registered attendees!  

Pitch Lab was honored to be selected for two headline sessions during the week. These events were without a doubt, the highlight of our year. 

Over 1,100 folks registered to see Pitch Lab's workshop and we had a blast helping Denver’s startup scene find its funny!

Big thanks to John Wilker for all the hospitality and support. 

Below are our favorite pics from Battle of the Startups: Entrepreneurs vs. Comedians week courtesy of Jim Darling

cristian Whitney, Pitch lab creative director, kicking off the night!

cristian Whitney, Pitch lab creative director, kicking off the night!

JAY mays, pitch lab co-founder, explaining why we're here.

JAY mays, pitch lab co-founder, explaining why we're here.

Pitch Lab Garage Denver Startup Week
Find Your Funny Pitch Lab
Pitch lab panelists: tommy y, heidi mcguire, joel lutz & rj owen!

Pitch lab panelists: tommy y, heidi mcguire, joel lutz & rj owen!

Chris Franks, CEO CleverFunnel Marketing, Pitching Meat Water!

Chris Franks, CEO CleverFunnel Marketing, Pitching Meat Water!

Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week laughter
JD Lopez, Comedian & Producer of Left Hand Right Brain Podcast, Pitching Rx Windshields! 

JD Lopez, Comedian & Producer of Left Hand Right Brain Podcast, Pitching Rx Windshields! 

JD Lopez RJ Owen Pitch Lab Denver Startup Week
Audience Laugh Pitch Lab
Heidi McGuire Pitch Lab
Pitch Lab Improv Comedy
Pitch Lab Crowd Laughter
Anthony Franco, CEO mcSquares, Pitching 3D Cheese Printers! 

Anthony Franco, CEO mcSquares, Pitching 3D Cheese Printers! 

LOL Pitch Lab
Anthony Franco Garage Pitch Lab
Joel Lutz Pitch Lab Panel
Daniel Reskin, Comedian & Pitch Lab Stand-Up Comedy Coach, Pitching Energy Drinks for Zoo Animals! 

Daniel Reskin, Comedian & Pitch Lab Stand-Up Comedy Coach, Pitching Energy Drinks for Zoo Animals! 

Crowd Shot Denver Startup Week

AmeriCorps VISTAs Improv Comedy Workshop!

AmeriCorps VISTA Pitch Lab Improv Comedy
Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA members @ Pitch Lab

Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA members @ Pitch Lab

Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA members are called upon to strengthen climate-resilience planning and implementation in vulnerable communities.

These real-life superheroes provide services to U.S. cities by engaging community residents to improve resilience in low-income neighborhoods. 

In this role, they help equip low-income communities to better prepare for numerous risks and challenges, including those associated with climate change.

AmeriCorps VISTAs Improv Comedy Workshop Joel Lutz RJ Owen

Pitch Lab was thrilled to help The AmeriCorps VISTA program utilize improv comedy skills to problem-solve within the vulnerable communities the VISTAs serve.

And no one knows better than improv coaches, RJ Owen & Joel Lutz how powerful improv comedy can be as a tool for creative problem-solving. 

Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA members

Through improv exercises like mirroring, 2-line scenes and spelling bees the VISTAs were able to hone in their active listening, collaboration and authenticity. Skills paramount to improving their effectiveness while impact volunteering. 

Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA improv comedy pitch lab workshop

Most Valuable Takeaways for The AmeriCorps VISTAs:

"I enjoyed the improv session because I tend to be a perfectionist. Sometimes it doesn't work out according to plan and I'm learning to embrace silence as a time to process the information given to me, so that I can give a thoughtful response."

— Sam H.

"During the improv session I was able to get a better understanding of my co-VISTA and how we work together."

— Ricky J.

"An elevator pitch will only get you so far when reaching out to community members so having the improv session really stuck with me... and how I can react when residents throw me curve balls."

— Rachel L.

"The skills taught in improv comedy are incredibly invaluable for this kind of outreach and engagement work, as well as for life in general."

— Charles A.

AmeriCorps VISTAs Improv Comedy

We're grateful for the opportunity to work with The Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps VISTAs and are always excited to see improv comedy's "yes, and" approach make a positive impact! 

And a BIG THANK YOU to General Assembly Denver for making this workshop possible. 

If you'd like to learn more about how Pitch Lab can help your team leverage improv comedy for innovation, creativity and team building, contact us! 

Mitch Hedberg, Demetri Martin & Meat Water, Oh My! Pitch Lab Comes to Volume Nine

Volume Nine SEO Pitch Lab
Jay Mays Pitch Lab Volume Nine

At Volume Nine, everyone joins in on a client pitch at some point, whether they’re leading the charge or there for support. While some are natural public speakers and thrive when pitching, others prefer to remain safely behind screens, making SEO magic happen.

No matter our personal feelings about public speaking, everyone here at Volume Nine was excited to have Jay Mays, founder of Pitch Lab, stop by for an afternoon “beer-and-learn” talk recently.

Jay did stand-up comedy for years and picked up a few tricks for engaging an audience – and keeping them engaged. He rolls this into his 20 years of experience in sales and business development to create an awesome, funny, and educational workshop called Pitch Lab. During the workshop, he teaches how to become a better speaker and give better pitches, incorporating lessons from famous stand-up comedians.

Jay Mays Tina Fey Pitch Lab Volume Nine

V9’s Pitch Lab Experience

The workshop started with each member of the V9 team delivering jokes from Mitch Hedberg and ended with some brave V9ers pitching the team meat water, prescription windshields, and energy drinks for zoo animals. Along the way, we learned about engaging a crowd, minimizing stage fright, cutting out “ums” and “likes”, and much more. Even the most seasoned public speakers among us walked away with some new lessons about delivering an engaging pitch.

What V9ers Think of Pitch Lab

Here’s what some of the team had to say about their Pitch Lab experience:

“I loved the comedic examples and how famous comedians also incorporate public speaking methods in their stand-up. It was a great reminder that presentations don’t have to be boring. Even a sales pitch can be funny and engaging!” – Olivia

"Pitch Lab delivers priceless lessons on how to speak and captivate an audience by anchoring your approach in stand-up comedy. Essential for anyone who wants to sharpen up on public speaking, beginner or advanced." – Ben

“Anytime you can combine an educational presentation with the natural humor of a stand-up comic, you’ve struck pure gold. The techniques learned are applicable across any industry and can help anyone move through client-facing work in a more confident (and funny) way.” – Brian

“I liked the combination of the fun, easy-going aura of stand-up comedy with high-pressure business pitches. Plus, who doesn't like to practice their techniques while talking about llamas or energy drinks?!” – Ashley

"Pitch Lab is funny, engaging, and interestingly practical for business applications. You will become aware of non-verbal communications you've never been aware of before, and how to improve your persuasion and confidence on an entirely new level...and laugh while doing it." – Jeremy

"The Pitch Lab workshop provided actionable tips on presenting/pitching in a super engaging, exciting and memorable way. The key takeaway for me was learning a whole new approach to presentations that I will definitely apply moving forward." – Carly

carly webber, volume nine's social media lead, pitching meat water!

carly webber, volume nine's social media lead, pitching meat water!

"Bring Your Own Pitch" @ Universal Mind!

Pitch Lab Universal Mind BYOP

Bring Your Own Pitch!

You bring the pitch. We provide the stage.

In the same way a stand-up comic hits an open-mic, Pitch Lab is designed to help you clock the 10,000 hours of deliberate practice Malcolm Gladwell says make a master.

Whether you’re persuading a group of VCs, landing your next big client or preparing for an important speech, we all need practice to improve our pitch.

Pitch Lab Universal Mind

Presenters pitched their deck for 5 minutes in front of an expert panel consisting of a stand-up comedian, improve coach, and professional storyteller.

Our presenters received actionable feedback on how to improve their delivery, room command, and storytelling abilities. What was the best part? We all learned by listening to each other speak!

Our Lineup

Alison Daley, Founder & CEO, Recruiting Innovation

Alison is a Colorado native; gold mining runs in her blood. Firmly believing it's better to sell the pick axes in a gold rush then own the mines, she left a 10-year career in recruitment to train tech recruiters on how to improve their success with an online training program called Recruiting Innovation.

Alison Daley Pitch Lab
“I had a wonderful time at Pitch Lab. I thought everything went really smoothly. Pitch Lab had super on-point judges who gave great, constructive feedback. Overall, 5 out of 5 stars!”

Geoffrey Poirier, Founder & CEO, Meometer

Solid mentorship eluded Geoffrey Poirier his entire life, so he founded Meometer to solve the problem of lack of mentorship.

Geoffrey Poirier Pitch Lab
“I found a perfect match for my need to work on my Angel Investor pitch in public: Pitch Lab. I had not yet presented this new pitch to anyone and I needed feedback. I regard comedians as the height of intelligence and awareness so getting feedback specifically from comedy experts who have business minds too? Dreamy!
 The entire panel managed to speak to each presenter’s individual level of experience, from novice to seasoned, and asked intelligent questions/gave sharp feedback. I can’t wait to come back and give it another go after working through the spot-on feedback from the panel.”

Dr. Ryan J. Engstrom, D.C., Founder & CEO, Level Chiropractic

Dr. Ryan is a board-certified Chiropractic Physician with nearly 10-years of practice experience. He is the founder and Chiropractic director of Level Chiropractic, where he creates and implements Chiropractic Corporate Wellness Programs. Dr. Ryan shared with us his latest talk “When Every Day’s a Sick Day: Bringing Healthcare In-House Without Breaking the Bank”

Dr. Ryan Engstrom Pitch Lab
"The feedback, besides being extremely helpful, was coming from professionals who have real world experience and insights into what it takes to get funded. So cool, thanks Pitch Lab!"

Zachary Cassidy, Founder & CEO, InkMage

Every year Americans spend millions of dollars on painful tattoo removals. Getting a tattoo is a serious decision that needs to be considered carefully. Inspired by his own desire for a memorial tattoo, Zach Cassidy developed InkMage, the best AR tool in the market to envision your tattoo before you ink!

Zachary Cassidy InkMage Pitch Lab
“Pitch Lab did a great job making me feel welcome. Their advice was hugely helpful and respectfully given. I cannot recommend them enough if you have even a little anxiety presenting to others.” 

HUGE THANKS to Universal Mind for hosting us and all of our presenters, panelists, and attendees for making this such a great event. 

Keep practicing your pitch, Denver! 

Improv Comedy Workshop @ General Assembly!

improv comedy pitch lab general assembly

How To Use Improv Comedy As A Tool For Creative Problem Solving @ General Assembly! 

There's no getting around it. We live in an unscripted world. If you mean to make an impression, you have to be able to think on your feet, hurl yourself into the moment and improvise. And like a great improv troupe, successful businesses must rely on similar tools to succeed.

What We Learned

Pitch Lab instructors Joel Lutz & RJ Owen led us through a gauntlet of improv comedy exercises. We laughed a lot, but the real lesson at the heart of this workshop is to be a better listener.

Whether it's in business or your personal life, there is power in letting go of your own personal agenda, being present in the moment and actively listening. This skill is paramount to successfully adapt to change, solve problems, or be a force for innovation. 

We also learned that great improvisers possess the top qualities Google looks for when hiring, including the ability to process ideas on the fly, willingness to relinquish power and ease with creating space for others to contribute. 

the team crushing 2-line scenes at general assembly!

the team crushing 2-line scenes at general assembly!

What Folks Said About This Improv Workshop

"I had no idea what to expect but absolutely loved the class and the exercises. I've always been very public-speaking phobic and calculated in how I communicate, so I learned some great lessons for relaxing and being in the moment that I'll apply to work and life!"

— Rachel Richardson, Merkle


"I've been to a few GA workshops and this was by far the most engaging and dynamic. Wonderful experience, and the time went by way too quickly!"

— Patricia Sandler, Tufts University


"Do more of these unique business-related (and especially sales related) courses! I'll recruit all my colleagues." 

— Kara Cedrone, FullContact


"This was one of the most helpful sessions I've been to."

— Jason Morris, Martines Palmeiro Construction

huge thanks to joel & RJ for making improv magic

huge thanks to joel & RJ for making improv magic