How to Pitch: Leave them wanting more
Your ideas are too important not to be heard. Learning to “pitch” your ideas is a wonderful way to organize and present your thoughts so that others will hear and understand what you are saying.
“The best pitchers have a short-term memory and a bullet proof confidence.” Greg Maddux
What Makes an Effective Pitch?
Pitching is a compelling way to inform or persuade others and it is part of our natural conversation. We pitch our ideas and thoughts to other people daily. It can be as simple as deciding where to go for breakfast, or as complex as asking others to invest their time and money in an initiative you are trying to launch. Remain laser focused on what matters most to the person you are pitching to.
Understand Your Audience. What Level Are You Pitching At?
- Casual encounter – everyday interaction also known as the elevator pitch
- Behavioral change or decision point – within an organization or group
- Business or investment pitch
How to Prepare for a Pitch
- Introduce yourself and provide some background.
- What do you want them to do?
- Confidence is key – so practice your pitch.
- Make sure your message is clear – be succinct.
- Do your homework. Understand the problem you are trying to solve.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch is a way to convey focused content in brief way. Imagine talking about your passion project to someone in an elevator, in the hallway at work, or standing in line for coffee. You want to get the other persons attention quickly. And you need to be ready to share your idea when spontaneous opportunities pop up! Your elevator pitch can be the start of a more in-depth conversation.
- You have 30 – 60 seconds.
- Clearly articulate the need or problem.
- Share your unique idea, solution, or approach.
- If you have data available to support your pitch, use it!
- What is the action you want them to take after talking with you?
What Content Should Be Included in a Business Pitch?
- The best pitches tell a captivating and compelling story.
- Why does your product or service matter to customers or consumers?
- What is your value proposition and business model?
- How are you planning to grow your business?
- Who is on your team and what are their skills?
- Why are you the best person or team to do this work? Why should they work with you?
- Who is your competition? What is happening across this market?
- What is the unique impact of your product or business? Why does this matter?
- Share your data. Do your metrics support your business model. If not, why not. Do your metrics paint a picture for investors?
- What level of engagement are you looking for (e.g., mentorship, a business partner, financial investment and at what level – be prepared to share who else has invested).
- Begin working on your pitch deck…
Resources on How to Pitch
- Video (6min): How to Create Your 30 Second Elevator Pitch!
- Article (5min): The Art of the Elevator Pitch
- Video (8min): Elevator Pitch Templates & Examples
Originally posted June 2021 - updated June 2022