Never underestimate the power of an Elevator Pitch. By preparing yourself in the right way, you can increase your chance of success. A pitch forces you to relay the core of your message in a short amount of time. A badly prepared Pitch gets you nowhere. You get only one chance to do it right, so make sure you don't blow it. Here are a few tips to prevent that from happening.
You don't have to fit the whole story into that 90-second-to-two-minute window. It's more important to pique the interest of your audience so they want to find out more about you and your product, service or company.
If you are given three minutes, make sure your pitch is no longer than two minutes, so your audience has time to ask questions. Your chances will be ruined if it takes you ten minutes to get through half your story. Think through the way in which you want to tell your story. A lot of people fail to present themselves effectively, but with lots of practice and maybe a few courses, you will be able to.
If you have the opportunity, practice in front of people unfamiliar with your subject. They will pick up mistakes you didn't know you were making, with an objective pair of eyes. The way you use your voice and your body language is equally important. These are aspects that can make or break your pitch. Stay true to who you are. Show your audience who you are and what makes what you're offering so important. Investors look at more than just your story. They often seek out people who are enthusiastic and who are able to transfer that enthusiasm to their audience as well. There are a great many examples on how NOT to give an Elevator Pitch. Watch the videos again, if you can. You might learn something new.
Should you use PowerPoint or not? You probably shouldn't, and here's why: why share the stage with something that pulls focus away from you? You and your product, service or company should be the central element of your presentation. If you absolutely must use PowerPoint, limit it to one slide per minute. Don't use more than five lines with three words each per slide. You can display numbers or infographics to illustrate your product, but don't overdo it. Fewer media means more focus on you.
To give you a quick start, below you find a couple of Pitch Decks, which you can use tot design your pitch. These are meant to inspire, feel free to create your own structure. There is no standard pitch, only your elevator pitch.
Download: 30-Seconds Pitch Deck (English)
Download: 60-Seconds Pitch Deck (English)
Download: 90-Seconds Pitch Deck (English)
Download: 120-Seconds Pitch Deck (English)
What should you mention in your Elevator Pitch? You should consider answering the following questions in your pitch when possible.
✓ Who are you? (When people know your name they are more likely to listen to you.)
✓ What do you need? (You might need things like money, experience, network connections, leads, clients or a well-established brand)
✓ What is it you do? (Your product or service)
✓ Who are your clients? What is your market?
✓ Who is your perfect client?
✓ How do you reach your clients? How do you market your product to your clients?
✓ Why should clients come to you? What problem do you solve?
✓ What are the production costs? What are your revenues?
✓ What is the financial prognosis for the first one to three years?
✓ What are your UBRs (Unique Buying reasons and not Unique selling points)?
✓ Who are your competitors? (Note: No competition? No market. Competition always exists, no matter how "new and unique" your product is)
✓ Who are the members of your team? What do they do? Do they make each other stronger?
✓ What goals have you achieved so far? Tell your audience a story summarizing how you got to this point.
✓ What went wrong and what did you learn from that experience?
✓ Why should investors invest in you?
Of course you won't be able to answer all those questions in the short span of a pitch. Choose the questions that best suit your goal for the pitch. As you may have noticed, finances and growth aren't included in the list. You should discuss these aspects in follow-up interviews, because they aren't key to capturing your audience’s interest.
It’s important that your pitch predict a bright future. Stay realistic, though. Don't tell your audience you intend to lead your market within three years. You can't plan things like that. Be honest and open about your growth scenarios. Potential investors are very tough-minded, pragmatic people. They won't invest in anything that sounds too good to be true.
Keep in mind, investors are looking for people who are energetic, enthusiastic, and put passion into their work. A good plan pitched poorly has no chance of success. A mediocre plan pitched well stands a better chance of succeeding.
Last but not least: the Twitter pitch. This is a pitch that relates only the core elements of your product, company or service in no more than two sentences or 140 characters. A daily necessity and very helpful to keep in mind. Success assured!
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