The combination of your personal passion and your explanation of how you can make a difference in Puget Sound and/or the world will be vital factors in your success in SIFP.  Your ability to articulate a sustainable business model (for both nonprofit and for-profit ventures) and to tell your story with clarity and confidence are also critical to winning.  Before diving into these resources, please review our main Learning page.

We've assembled a number of recommended resources for you to use in developing and preparing to present your plan so you can confidently pitch to win!

If you are going to spend only one day in preparing to present, or if you have only one week to work on your pitch and make a dramatic improvement, here are what a few experts recommend:

  • Will Poole, Lead SVP Partner, former Senior Vice President at Microsoft, Social Technologist: "If you've got a great plan but need help in getting others to understand and believe it, read Andy Goodman's book, Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good People".  Nonprofits and for-profit leaders should read Guy Kawsaki's "Art of the Start".  Another good resource for for-profit companies is here:
  • Alan Harlam, Director Social Entrepreneurship, Swearer Center, Brown University: "Figure out your business model.  Most social innovators who fail do so because of lack of understanading or building a good business model.  Read Business Model Generation, the new gold standard to help both nonprofits and for-profits think about realistic and sustainable business models."
  • Kushal Chakrabarti, Co-Founder and CEO, Vittana: "I wish someone had told me this stuff sooner. (Here's the list)"
  • Jacob Colker, Co-Founder of, 2009 Echoing Green Fellow, 2010 Rolex Young Laureates Award Recipient: "Maya Angelou has a fantastic quote, 'people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' Applied to public speaking, her quote is a powerful guide for how to control the room and keep your audience captivated. In sum: don't stand in front of a room full of people and read a bunch of stats off a powerpoint slide. Narrate the need for your initiative through a story -- make people *feel* something -- make them *relate* to your argument on a deeply personal level. If you achieve this, you'll win the hearts and minds of the crowd, every time." 



Suggested Reading

Garr Reynolds, presentationzen

Jerry Weisman, Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story

Andy Goodman, Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good People

Business Modeling

Alexander Osterwalder, Business Model Generation, A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers 

Startup Planning  Guy Kawasaki, Art of the Start