Pitching Help

Constructing a Winning Pitch

Be Solution-Oriented

This goes for your pitch and your pitch proposal.  It's not enough to identify a problem, you need to propose a workable way to deal with it.  

Be Creative

Ideas with an element of originality, creativity, or cleverness will have a leg up.

Be Practical

Ideas have to be at least potentially implementable.  Remember that it's expensive to do things like build new buildings or hire new staff.  If your idea requires things like that, where will the money come from?  If you're proposing a new service, who will run it?


Pitches are partially judged on delivery.  Don't go over time.  Watch yourself in the mirror.  Rehearse until you don't need notes.  If you're using slides, read some dos and don'ts about powerpoint.


Check out the rubric that judges will be using for the competition.  This will tell you exactly how pitches will be scored.

Resources for Constructing a Good Pitch

GVSU CEO Club Pitching Resources

Scroll down to the "Elevator Pitch" and "Three to Five Minute Pitch" sections.

1000 Pitches Pitch Gallery

A large selection of students pitching nonprofit ideas on how to make the world better.  Plenty of models of good pitches to follow!

Building a Good Elevator Pitch For Your Nonprofit

Our pitches are longer than elevator pitches, but a lot of the advice here works for pitching to our competition as well: simplicity, brevity, repetition, etc.

Citing Images

A primer on how to cite and note copyrighted images.  Please note that citations for the images go in the handout, not the slides.

APA Citation Guide

If you use images in your slides or present any outside research, it needs to be cited in your handout.  Here's a simple guide on how to cite things in APA format.

Pitching Workshops

To help out finalists, we'll be offering a pitching workshop on Wednesday, March 11th, from 6-7 p.m. in ASH 2120.

Where to Find Images

Free Images www.freeimages.com

High quality stock images. The vast majority of images are available royalty-free, and each image is tagged with multiple keywords making it easy to find a variety of photos.

To download the full quality photo you'll need to create an account, which is free. There is a daily limit to how many photos you can download, but it is fairly high (50 or so), and if you really need more in one day nothing stops you from creating a second account.

My one dislike about the site is that at the top and bottom of your search results, they show you possible matches from a different site where you DO have to pay for images.

Compfight / Flickr  www.compfight.com

Compfight is a site that provides a search tool for Flickr. One of its great features is that you can restrict your search to images licenses under the Creative Commons license—which basically means that you can use the photos free of charge as long as you provide credit to the creator.

morgueFile  www.morguefile.com

A free photo archive, by creatives for creatives.

World War II Poster Collection  https://images.northwestern.edu/catalog?f[institutional_collection_title_facet][]=World+War+II+Poster+Collection+at+Northwestern+University+Library

It won't serve every image need you have, but you never know. Warning: not all images have very high resolution versions available.

Uncle Sam's Photos www.unclesamsphotos.com

A directory of the U.S Government's free stock photo sites.

The National Archives https://www.archives.gov/

The National Archives has more than 30 million photos, many of them which have been digitized and made available online.

NASA's Earth Observatory https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/

A collection of high resolution photos of the planet.

Public Domain Pictures https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

An easy-to-search collection of photos that have been placed in the public domain.

The Public Domain Review https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/?medium=image

This site is neither explicitly an image search site or stock image repository. It does, however, have an interesting collection of vintage public domain imagery available.

Google Image Search https://images.google.com

There's always Google. Note that their image search tool allows you to filter your search by a number of criteria. In order to get the highest quality images, use the "Large" size filter. Other nice features involve being able to search for photos that predominantly feature one color.

The major caveat with Google images is that the creators of the images have generally not consented to have their images available for use by others. Recently Google has implemented a filter that allows you to also search based on "usage rights," which in theory should return you images that can be used without royalty or copyright issues.

However, the best rule of thumb is still to note where each photo you use comes from, provide a bibliography of some form, and if presenting in a professional public setting, stick to images you get from actual stock photography or public domain sites.


Page last modified August 6, 2018