By Barbara Rogoski
No matter what size your business is or what industry you are in, there are times when you will need to make a pitch for something. It can be a pitch about your great idea to potential investors, a sales pitch about why your product is better than the rest, and or even a short “what do you do?” pitch about yourself when meeting people.
But how do you know what the most important things are to include in your short ‘elevator pitch’ and in your longer investor/sales pitches? How can you leverage it, consistently?
One way, is to create a powerful tool called a “portable pitch” which is a “master script” that includes all the key elements that you want to share, that can be expanded up or edited down as needed.
Here are 4 key tips for how to put together your perfect pitch:
Sit down and create your masterscript of all the most important things you want to share in your short or long pitch. Do a brain dump of all the most important achievements, success stories, key details, vision of the future, things that the audience or listener should know about you or your company. It should be short, colorful, to the point and catchy. Spend time on this important document and help each person craft his/her pitch from the larger portable pitch. You want consistent messaging. Review often.
Give them big words first – consider what the key words are that describe you or your company. If the interaction (pitch) is short, or the person you are speaking to has limited time or attention, you need to share with them the big words that describe what you do – to grab them. Bring these key words to the front of your description and not way at the back. Exercise: If you could describe your company or your work in single words only, what are the 5 words you would use? Use these in your short and long pitches. People are short of time and attention so hit them with the big words first!
Paint a picture of the problem (pain) that you solve with the first things you say and follow up with the solution you offer. For a personal pitch, when someone says, “What do you do?” you can say, “Well, you know how…” (and state the problem with colorful words that they will clearly understand) and you get the nod from them or affirmative sign. Then you say, “Well, what I do is…” (and state the wonderful solution you provide for the problem). This can also apply to longer pitches with the problem you have identified, how your organization can solve it, and a vision of how you see things in the future with your efforts. Again, short, colorful, to the point and catchy.
Leave them with a catchy phrase they will remember – a colorful phrase at the end of any pitch, which is memorable and grabs their attention, may be the one thing that stays in their minds that helps them remember you. Barbara’s catchy phrase is that she considers herself: “The public speaker’s best friend.”
Are you attending a conference where there will be short interactions? Then use the short version that is based on the master script. This will have the most important key points about yourself and your company, practiced in advance, and on the end of your tongue whenever someone asks. If you only have 60 seconds, choose from the master script what matters most to convey.
Are you going to deliver a one-hour pitch at a startup event to convince investors? Then use the longer version – based on the master script, with the key points in an expanded version. It should be entertaining, unique and to the point – like a good pitch should be. You want to stand out from the others.
The portable pitch is an easy way to put all your ideas in one place that can be modified for short personal interactions or longer presentations. It all comes down to being catchy, colorful and agile with your words in any situation.
About Barbara Rogoski – Founder of Successful Speaker Now, Barbara is a passionate and experienced executive speaker coach living in The Netherlands, who helps business owners and corporate executives to present with impact and influence.