'Pitch Club' takes aim at Jamaica
James LaLonde, a China-based American with an aptitude forscaling start-ups, is the founder of Beijing Pitch Club.

Effectively pitching one's ideas is a practical life skill and, if left up to serial entrepreneur James LaLonde, one that will see a global uplift this year.

LaLonde, a China-based American with an aptitude for scaling start-ups, is the founder of Beijing Pitch Club, a free, virtual, worldwide event and community of like-minded individuals passionate about stories, ideas, and self-improvement.

Speaking from the Chinese capital Beijing, Lalonde noted that the rationale behind the initiative was to provide a forum where people can get honest, actionable feedback on their pitches to allow for marked improvement in overall communication skills.

He reasoned that while not new in concept, Pitch Club's uniqueness stems from its global reach and significantly, its feedback mechanism where pitchers receive critique in real time and also post their pitch via an anonymous online survey and video recording.

“Life constantly requires you to pitch in some way and we have all at some point, whether personal or professional, felt a sense of regret for not being able to effectively communicate our ideas in a key moment, and that's what Pitch Club is about addressing in a global context, Jamaica included,” he contended.

“In a print media setting, to give a relevant example, a clear idea pitch at an editorial planning meeting is more likely to result in a potential front-page/lead story as opposed to a less clear and poorly structured one,” contended LaLonde.

Pitch Club began as a face-to-face endeavour in June 2019 but in 2020, partially owing to COVID-19, shifted to an online version to not only meet the needs of existing participants but to then make the facility available worldwide.

Following that shift, the event became so successful that it has since added a second chapter, hosted every Thursday, to make it more accessible to those in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. This complements the original chapter hosted every Wednesday.

Close to 1,000 pitches have already been improved.

LaLonde underscored that the goal is to continue to grow and improve this global community of communicators; further removing the fear factor linked to public speaking and replacing it with confidence and ultimately, better outcomes for work and life.

“Pitch Club will continue to exist to provide that safe forum where anyone, from anywhere can develop as an effective communicator while simultaneously networking globally. We're delighted to have Jamaicans form a part of our community,” added LaLonde who serves as co-founder and co-CEO of Yodo1 Games, a leading mobile game publisher with global reach and the sponsors of Pitch Club.

The company, which marked its 10th anniversary last November, has helped thousands of game developers around the world market, monetise and manage their games to better serve a player base of 1.5 billion and growing.

“From a geographical standpoint, we're also encouraging those in the wider Caribbean and the Americas to commit to self-improvement by joining Pitch Club this year,” declared LaLonde.

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